Consumers Goods Firms Pose Greenwashing Risk

Analysis by financial think tank Planet Tracker has uncovered greenwashing risk and a lack of detail in climate transition plans at consumer goods giants Unilever, Colgate-Palmolive and Proctor & Gamble (P&G). The report uncovered a systemic deficiency in addressing upstream Scope 3 emissions, placing Colgate-Palmolive and P&G on a concerning trajectory towards a +3°C warming pathway. Further, their anticipated emissions levels by 2030 are seven times higher than those recommended by the Science Based Targets initiative (SBTi). In contrast, the report highlights Unilevers more comprehensive strategy in mitigating Scope 3 emissions, particularly upstream. This has positioned the company to surpass SBTi’s recommended levels by 1.5 times. Notably, Unilever demonstrates a crucial connection between executive remuneration and sustainability objectives, as well as transparent disclosure of financial risks associated with carbon pricing mechanisms, the report noted. The results underscore the significance of these emissions, with Unilever, Colgate-Palmolive, and P&G showing up to three, five and eight times higher emissions respectively when factoring in these downstream indirect emissions. In real terms, P&G‘s emissions have ballooned from 26 million tonnes of carbon dioxide equivalent (MTCO2e) to a 200 MTCO2e, almost equal to France’s national emissions. Ion Visinovschi, Research Analyst at Planet Tracker, said: Our comparison of leading consumer goods companies demonstrates a worrying trend of companies failing to effectively tackle direct Scope 3 emissions, especially upstream, which if not mitigated soon could cost billions of dollars in the future. 

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