Do You Trust Corporate Emission Reduction Claims? No One in Britain Does


photo: CarbonNYC on Flickr/Creative Commons

The pace of publicity for corporate carbon emission reductions may have slowed in the past year but that doesn't mean people believe the hype any more, at least in the UK. Based on a survey by Carbon Trust, a mere 7% of people there believe the claims made by companies that they are taking tough action to do their part to blunt the impact of climate change. Everyone Wants Companies to Reduce Emissions & Most Want Them To Report It
But they want corporations to do their part: 90% of people want companies to commit to at least a 3% reduction per year (which would allow the UK to meet its national emission reduction target for 2050). 70% of people think businesses should be mandated to report their emissions.

Two-thirds of people in Britain question whether corporate emissions are being reduced at all--with just over half being concerned that companies are going for a PR coup, making big claims and then going back to business-as-usual.

What makes people believe a carbon emission reduction claim? Third-party verification: 60% of people surveyed required this before believing a claim.

Are TreeHugger Readers More Trusting Than The British Public?
The Guardian has all the usual quotes and background info on the survey, but I want to know is:

Are TreeHugger readers more or less trusting than UK residents when it comes to corporate behavior, be it carbon emission reductions or other aspects of green corporate social responsibility?

I'll tell you biggest issue with claims, even if they are verified is that so often when a company is a large multinational they are made with the boundaries that the company's very existence is a good thing--that big box stores are a good idea, that processed packaged food and fizzy drinks are healthy when consumed at anywhere near the levels required to keep such large corporations in business, etc.

Even if the claims turn out to be true, they are only good in the bigger scheme of things if you ignore the greater context. Carbon emissions are only one part of the picture.

More on Carbon Emissions:
Walmart Announces They Will Cut 20 Million Tons of Greenhouse Gases From Supply Chain by 2015
World's Airlines Pledge to Cut Emissions 50% by 2050

Tags: Carbon Emissions | Corporate Responsibility

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