September 2021: How the government clamping down on greenwash is a good thing for cycling
The recent Competition and Markets Authority (CMA) press release signals that the government is getting tough on greenwashing, giving businesses until the New Year to ensure their green claims are accurate and verifiable.
In their immediate sights are textiles and fashion, travel and transport and fast-moving consumer goods – that means many Bicycle Association members potentially face scrutiny under one or more of the government’s priority business areas.
With the preliminary results from the recent Bicycle Association census suggesting that nearly a quarter of surveyed members saw ‘fear of getting wrong’ as a barrier to sustainability, the government’s hard stance might be perceived as a backward step, actually discouraging businesses from talking about sustainability and taking some action.
In reality, this crackdown is not simply levelling the playing field but fundamentally establishing the game’s rules. In many ways, the guesswork is being eliminated, and we’re stepping out of sustainability’s wild west where bold but unsubstantiated claims and, dare I say it, a fake-it-till-you-make-it attitude could run amok.
So this isn’t just a shot across the bows for Bicycle Association Members. There is a helpful online guide to checking your green claims and ensuring any future green claims are meaningful. Fuller and more detailed official guidance is here. There’s also this brief video explainer:
So, if fear of getting wrong has been stopping you from getting going, take a look at the guidance and take your first step to a greener tomorrow.
September 2021: We interview BA member company and clothing specialist Rapha’s sustainability lead to discover how they are driving sustainability in their business – and how others in the cycle industry can learn from their experience. A special edition BA podcast:
June 2021: UK Government launches UK Business Climate Hub where SMEs can self-commit to climate actions
August 2020: Cycling’s green reputation – time to step up? A ‘long read’ from the BA’s sustainability lead, Alec Seaman, covering key issues as the industry tackles the issue of environmental responsibility.