This month (February 2023), the Stop Funding Heat campaign has released a document using evidence they have collected from reports, studies and investigations. This document has evidence that claims that many social media giants, including Meta and Twitter, do not have sufficient, or any, policies in place to stop greenwashing advertisements from appearing on their sites.
The UK Government, in 2021, put the Green Claims Code in place through the Competition and Markets Authority (CMA). This code states that any advertisement carried out by an organisation, when regarding their environmental claims, must be truthful and not misleading, to be in line with the law in Britain.
According to Global Witness, an international NGO that works towards protecting human rights and the planet, there is evidence that shows that many social media platforms are profiting from fossil fuel companies.
The NGO has uncovered that for the first seven months of last year (2022), the number of adverts regarding the environment placed on Facebook by BP reached over double the amount of the previous year. This was a similar case when the NGO investigated the fossil fuel company’s environmental adverts on Instagram.
Due to reports of fossil fuel companies, including BP and Shell, actually reaching high profits in 2022, these companies are being justifiably accused of greenwashing. Greenwashing occurs when misinformation, lies or the over exaggeration of environmental claims are released as fact by a company.
The Stop Funding Heat campaign have found that Meta received US$9.6 million from 25 fossil fuel company advert campaigns in 2020 from the US alone. These greenwashing adverts contained eco-friendly messages and were viewed at least 430 million times by social media users.
Sean Buchan, campaign manager for Stop Funding Heat and the author of their recent report has called for these social media companies and the tech industry to:
“get its house in order and tackle greenwashing
and climate misinformation instead of
continuing to profit from it amid a climate crisis.”