Greenwashing has become the scourge of sustainability, leading to confusion and lack of credibility concerning net-zero targets. More than 95 percent of consumer products claiming to be green are guilty of at least one count of greenwashing. Meanwhile “sustainable” funds have been found guilty of investing in unsustainable businesses, involved in areas such as fossil fuels and deforestation. Just last month, Amundi SA and Deutsche Bank AG’s DWS Group announced the downgrading of billions of dollars worth of ESG funds, adding to the sense of disarray caused by greenwashing as it spreads like a disease through the corporate world.
There could not be a better time for us to reveal Permutable’s pioneering new AI tool to identify greenwashing in this pre-launch announcement and call for pilot testers who can register their interest here.
The greenwashing identification tool has been developed by Permutable’s product and data team with an aim of holding companies accountable and provide transparency concerning their sustainability claims and reported actions. Enabling users to search through 20,000 companies, the platform gives access to unparalleled and highly granular greenwashing data and insights.
How it works
Permutable uses cutting edge machine-learning techniques enabling a highly trained and rigorously tested AI to review each and every company’s history of carbon pledges. This is then examined in detail to determine whether there is evidence that these pledges are supported by sufficient actioned projects or initiatives. It also looks for excessive use of greenwashing language in corporate literature – for example, in company and brand websites or literature as well as on marketing and publicity messaging and activity.
The data is then presented as follows:
- Summary statistics of emission pledge and project announcements. Examples include the number of net-zero announcements, future project announcements, past project announcements, total number of project announcements
- Monthly aggregates of announcements for emission pledges and projects
- Emission reduction pledges and their deadlines
- Project announcements with project deadline dates
- Summary statistics of emission pledge announcements
- Interactive plot of net-zero and carbon-neutral target announcements over time
- Pie charts of count of pledge announcements per greenhouse gas emission type and count of pledge announcements per emission scope type
- Interactive plot of emission reduction pledge instances against deadline and specific announcements
- Word map of organisations mentioned in announcements, filtered by selected entities.
- Interactive pie charts of project by scope and type
- Interactive plot of project announcement instances across time by deadline and by planned quantity of emissions to be extracted, filtered by type of project.
- World map showing count of projects/emissions by country
- World map showing breakdown of project/emission announcements by scope for each country.
Wilson Chan, CEO and Founder of Permutable said, “An increasing number of companies are being called out for greenwashing. However this is just the tip of the iceberg. What is needed is easily accessible and complete transparency, so that greenwashing can be spotted and acted on quickly. At Permutable, we are keenly aware of the negative effects of greenwashing in achieving climate change targets. Our new greenwashing identification tool now makes it infinitely harder for companies to get away with greenwashing, by making their pledges and actions much clearer. We hope that this will help us all move forward in an open and honest fashion, enabling us to tackle the common goal of reducing carbon emissions, damage to our planet and to our shared future.”