Pi News –
A British Columbia nonprofit announced Monday that it has asked the Competition Bureau of Canada to investigate sportswear giant Lululemon, alleging the company is misleading customers about its environmental impact.
Lululemon is using the slogan “Go Green” as part of its 2020 “impact agenda,” Stand.earth said in a statement, but the company’s own reports show that greenhouse gas emissions have doubled since then.
Lululemon’s 2022 Impact Report states that its “products and actions help lead the industry toward a climate-sustainable future where nature and people thrive.”
It said the Vancouver-based company aims to meet a number of climate goals by 2030, including a 60 percent reduction in emissions intensity for its Scope 3 operations, which will expand apparel production and supply worldwide.
But Lululemon reports cited by Stand.earth show that total emissions in this category increased to 1.7 million tons from 830,000 tons in 2020.
According to the 2022 report, these “Circle 3” activities account for 99.7% of the company’s total carbon footprint. It shows that in 2022, 16% of emissions came from raw materials and 26.8% from manufacturing, while energy consumption in shops and offices accounted for only 0.3%.
Rachel Kitchin, senior corporate climate campaigner at Stand.earth, said Lululemon’s products are good for the planet, but more than 60 percent of the materials for its products are directly mined. made from fossil fuels.
The company’s clothes are made in factories that run on fossil fuels, including coal, he said at a news conference, adding that Lululemon has opted for air freight rather than sea freight, which is more harmful to the climate.
“If Lululemon wants to be true to its word, the company needs to commit to phasing out fossil fuels from its products and manufacturing, and transitioning its supply chain to 100 percent renewable energy by 2030. I need it,” he said.
In response, a company spokesperson said in a statement Monday that Lululemon is “focused on helping create an apparel industry that is more sustainable and addresses the serious impacts of climate change.”
“We remain committed to working directly with our suppliers, industry partners, civil society and policymakers,” it said, adding that the company has committed $10 million to a fund aimed at accelerating climate action in the global apparel industry.
Lululemon aims to become a “net-zero company” by investing in its “decarbonization plan” and reducing emissions by 90 percent by 2050, the statement said.
Lululemon has so far met its goals of powering its facilities with renewable electricity, which has reduced emissions by 60 percent, he said.
The company recognizes that much of its carbon footprint comes from emissions “within the wider supply chain,” the statement said.
Stand.earth international program director Tzeporah Berman said at a press conference that Lululemon’s branding amounts to “greenwashing,” posing as a climate steward by pocketing the profits associated with rising emissions.
“After bringing this issue to the attention of Lululemon’s senior management for two years, the company has taken no action, yet they have stepped up their greenwashing and messaging about what kind of planet leaders they are,” he said. she is.
With more than $8 billion in annual revenue, “Lululemon is able to position itself as a leader in sustainability,” Berman said.
“Lululemon stands out as a company that has the potential to make a big difference in the world and has one of the biggest gaps between their rhetoric and what they do on the ground,” he said.
The Competition Bureau confirmed on Monday that it had received a complaint from Stand.earth alleging that Lululemon engaged in deceptive marketing practices.
Christopher Rusnak, a lawyer with Vancouver-based Stand.earth, said at a press conference that nine people had come forward with the request.
The Feb. 8 filing says the petitioners acknowledge that Lululemon is “taking steps to reduce the environmental impact of its business and products” and that the request is not a criticism of those efforts.
Rather, the criticism is aimed at the company’s marketing campaign, which it says “goes too far” by creating the impression that Lululemon’s actions and products are positively contributing to a healthy environment and planet.
This report by The Canadian Press was first published on February 12, 2024.