Faulty Accounting

The British Advertising Standards Authority (ASA) has upheld a complaint against a Scottish energy utility that claimed that a tree planting scheme funded by consumers volunteering to pay a higher tariff would offset their carbon emissions. The ASA told Scottish & Southern Energy (SSE) to withdraw a brochure promoting the scheme. SSE had argued that the average household produced 4.65 tonnes of carbon dioxide a year from gas usage and household waste. "But," Miles Brignall reported, "the ASA said it failed to prove that the new trees absorbed the equivalent amount of greenhouse gases." The decision may impact other companies, too. The oil giant BP recently unveiled its targetneutral scheme, Ford USA and Ford Land Rover have launched Terrapass, and British Airways has teamed up with Climate Care.