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New standard created to combat 'Greenwash'

24 June 2008

A campaign has been launched by the Carbon Trust challenging businesses and the public sector to end so-called ‘greenwash’ by achieving the new “Carbon Trust Standard” certificate ,that proves they are tackling climate change and have made genuine reductions in their carbon emissions.

The Carbon Trust says it wants to inspire businesses across the UK to get involved in taking action on climate change. Achieving the Carbon Trust Standard will enable organisations to take advantage of the bottom line benefits* that come from reducing carbon emissions. It will also show consumers which brands are truly taking action and help businesses looking at reducing emissions in their supply chains.

The Carbon Trust Standard was developed by the Carbon Trust in response to both growing consumer mistrust of organisations’ green claims and confusion amongst business about what to really do to reduce emissions and improve efficiency.

It is the world’s first carbon award scheme that requires an organisation to measure, manage and reduce its carbon footprint and actually make real reductions year-on-year. Unlike other award schemes, it requires organisations to take action themselves rather than paying others to reduce via off-setting – a practice seen as credible by only one in ten consumer respondents in a recent Carbon Trust study.

Tom Delay, Chief Executive of the Carbon Trust said:
“Our research shows that not only do consumers currently mistrust business’ climate change claims, but that business thinks existing carbon award schemes are confusing and lack credibility. What business and consumers both share is a desire for one, credible way to prove an organisation has not only measured, but actually reduced their carbon emissions year-on-year without the use of offsetting. The Carbon Trust Standard is the only answer to this.Achieving the Carbon Trust Standard will enable organisations to take advantage of the bottom line benefits that come from reducing carbon emissions. It will also help brands stand out from the crowd as research shows that consumers and business decision makers will choose an organisation with an award like the Carbon Trust Standard over another of similar price and quality.”

The Carbon Trust Standard was launched with the support of Environment Secretary Hilary Benn MP. He said: "We all need to take action to reduce our carbon footprints as we move towards a low carbon economy and the award Defra has been given today by the Carbon Trust recognises the progress the department has made. I'm proud that Defra staff have taken action both inside and outside Government to lead the way and bring about change. It's easy to point the finger at others but far more challenging to look at your own behaviour and change it. I am pleased to see that so many organisations want to do that and consider the environmental impact of their businesses."

The Carbon Trust Standard has already attracted interest and support from a number of high profile organisations with 12 pathfinders being awarded the Standard at its launch. The pathfinder organisations have collectively achieved an 8.4% reduction in their carbon emissions over three years, which translates into carbon savings of over 250,000 tonnes of CO2.

Over the coming months the Carbon Trust will continue its work with thousands of businesses of all sizes across the UK to prepare them to achieve the Carbon Trust Standard.

The organisations who have achieved the Carbon Trust Standard to date are:
• Abbey Corrugated
• B&Q
• Crown Prosecution Service
• Department for Environment, Food and Rural Affairs
• Department for International Development
• DSM Nutritional Products – Dalry production site Scotland
• King’s College London
• London Fire Brigade
• Morrisons
• Thames Water
• Trinity Mirror
• University of Central Lancashire

Organisations wanting information about getting the Carbon Trust Standard can call: 0800 019 1443 or visit our website

Carbon Trust Standard
The Carbon Trust Standard shows which businesses and organisations are taking real action on climate change and have reduced the own carbon emissions. It is awarded to a whole or part of an organisation that is reducing its emissions year on year.

Carbon Label
In March 2007 the Carbon Trust launched the Carbon Reduction Label which reveals the carbon footprint of the products and services we use and demonstrates a commitment from companies to reduce the carbon footprint of their products. Carbon Reduction Labels allow us to compare the things we buy and use in order to see those that have the lowest impact on climate change.

Together the Carbon Trust Standard and the Carbon Reduction Label let people see which organisations are truly reducing their own emissions and begin to understand the carbon footprint of individual products. We encourage organisations to do both – to achieve the Carbon Trust Standard by reducing the emissions they directly control and to tackle emissions they create indirectly through their supply chain by putting the Carbon Reduction Label on their products.

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