Every little hurts? Tesco green-wash exposedTagged as: climatechange climaterush co2 environmentalism greenwash tesco
To coincide with Tesco’s sponsoring of National Climate Week, Climate Rush, a suffragette-inspired environmental action group, altered approximately 30 stores in central London to highlight the company’s hypocrisy on climate change. The fascias now read TESCO2.
Tesco have always liked to present themselves as active agents in the fight against climate change. They recently launched “green clubcard points” and state on their website that “ [they] believe that climate change is the greatest strategic threat to humanity”.
Whilst keen to support any business that cuts carbon, Climate Rush feels that there are some inconvenient truths that make Tesco an inappropriate sponsor for such an awareness-raising event.
- Since they started monitoring them, Tesco’s carbon emissions have risen ever year bar one[i]
- From 2009 to 2010, during which time emissions fell in the UK and elsewhere, Tesco’s carbon emissions increased by 3.7%[ii]
- When measuring their “Direct Carbon Footprint”, which is the figure they report on,Tesco ignores international freight, production of goods , waste disposal and consumption and disposal of Goods. [iii]
- Despite impressive sounding claims like being a “zero carbon business” by 2050[iv], Tesco does not give itself interim targets to ensure it achieves this. This differs from major international competitors such as Walmart[v].
Tamsin Omond, founder of Climate Rush, says “for all their talk about ‘Doing The Right Thing’, few companies are more committed to the status quo than Tesco. Rather than set itself ambitious short-term targets, matched with holistic, honest reporting, Tesco spends its energy on token gestures like sponsoring Climate Week and Green Clubcard points. Fighting climate change isn’t the responsibility of the PR department; it’s time Tesco committed to delivering real, long-term value for its shareholders and the communities on which it depends. You can’t make money on a dead planet. “
National Climate Week runs from 21st to 27th March, and aims to showcase real-life examples of businesses and communities fighting climate change. Other supporters include RBS, who have lent £20bn to the oil and gas industry since nationalisation[vi], and EDF energy, who provide 25% of the UK’s energy from non-renewable sources[vii]. Whilst these companies are also engaged in activities that directly threaten the health of the planet, as they are not key sponsors, they have escaped the specific attention of Climate Rush
For press enquiries please email Andrew.email@example.com">firstname.lastname@example.org or call 07792 660 569
[i] Taken by looking at Tesco PLC corporate responsibility reports, 2007 to present.
[ii] Tesco 2010 Corporate Responsibility Report, page 9
[vi] RBS Sustainability Briefing Document, October 2010