Per this article, many legal developments are in play around the world.


Greenwashing in Canada – Canada’s parliament has passed legislation (Bill C-59) that will require companies to prove the credibility of any environmental claims they make.  It will require the company to provide “adequate and proper substantiation in accordance with an internationally recognized methodology” and the claims should be “based on an adequate and proper test.”

  • Does the above sound familiar? For some time we have been advising companies that any claims not tied to a globally-recognized program that includes 3rd party verification put the company at risk.


Due Diligence in France – The Paris Court of Appeal ruled that cases against TotalEnergies and EDF could proceed.  These cases say the companies did not monitor and mitigate the human rights and environmental impact of their business activities AND supply chains.

  • Remember the ‘supply chain’ component of this. You will see more supply chain vendors pulled into environmental disputes where the initial lawsuit is against the big client company; but is expanded to include the vendor for not having a sustainability program and not protecting the environment.


Shareholder Proposals in the US – A US judge dismissed a case brought by Exxon against a shareholder group that is attempting to get Exxon to be more proactive regarding its Scope 3 emissions (ie, remember, Scope 3 includes you, the vendor).  The Judge dismissed the suit due to the shareholder group not being American (the group is Dutch).

  • You will see more and more of this. Environmental shareholder groups will form in obscure areas (such as South Pacific island countries fearing rising sea levels) to avoid defensive actions by the companies they are trying to influence.


Scope 3 Emissions in the UK – The UK Supreme Court ruled that local authorities must consider Scope 3 emissions of projects when deciding to permit them.

  • Let this one soak in. Going forward, any entity seeking a business permit in the UK will face scrutiny over how it is going to manage its Scope 3 emissions (which, again, includes you, its vendor).  Think of the opportunity this presents for vendors who are environmentally certified sustainable in helping prospects/clients secure permits for expansion.


Overall Trend  – The world is rapidly advancing environmental compliance programs and the penalties for non-compliance.

  • If your company has self-certified its sustainability efforts, we strongly recommend halting all claims until you have become certified under a globally-respected program with 3rd party verification.
  • If your company has no formalized/verified sustainability program, re-read the above statements on Scope 3. Even if you choose to not make any sustainability claims and hide under a rock, you will not avoid what is coming.  The less prepared you are, the greater risk you carry.


If you wish to use this to your advantage, read this on what you want in a sustainability program, watch this master class, and contact us.