PR Driving "Carbon Neutral" Greenwashing

The Advertising Standards Authority of Ireland (ASAI) is alarmed about the extent of corporate greenwashing. The authority's chief executive, Frank Goodman, explained, "You are not allowed to say your product is good for the environment unless you can prove this. Our code is very specific on this point." Of particular concern are claims by companies that they have become "carbon neutral" by buying carbon offsets for their greenhouse gas emissions. John Curran, the environmental executive for Musgrave Group, which markets leading retail brands, said, "It's easy to make the claim, but it is almost impossible to really be carbon neutral. ... Low carbon is the best you can aim for. But once PR gets a hold of things, being seen as green can turn into a crusade for some companies."