This year in the UK, extreme weather and a rapid rise in the costs of energy and groceries have made the importance of being sustainable even more critical.
And organisations need to help out with real action rather than empty words. It has never been more important to positively evidence the work you do.
Evidencing and why it matters
‘Greenwashing’, or in other words, making people believe that you are doing more to protect the environment than you really are, has meant people have to discern what is real and what is fake from organisations.
Today, in the world of environmental and social sustainability, we’ve seen organisations put words around promises or activities without evidence. And this concept doesn’t just apply to environmental reporting – it can be applied to social responsibility claims, too.
With so much “fake news” out there, the focus has shifted for organisations to prove real value to society. And the good thing is that organisations, whether in the public, private or third sector, face more scrutiny from the people and communities to prove their claims.
Despite the government issuing a net zero strategy last year, it isn’t showing much focus or a robust pathway to deliver net zero. It also isn’t making any significant inroads to real change, skipping out on urgent actions like insulating UK homes, improving access to green space for millions, and a fair transition for workers in high-carbon industries. So, it’s essential that we all step up to the challenge, whether in local government, voluntary organisations or businesses.
How are we going to make positive change?
Evidencing socially responsible ‘good’ activity through mechanisms like the National TOMs framework ensures that you have the proof and the evidence to back up your claims. The consistency the TOMs provides means you can show your progress in real terms. And it can ensure that you’re not overstating what you promised in the first place.
There are plenty of resources available to help you evidence the work you do:
- Guidance to the recent changes to the free-to-use National TOMs and additional ways to show more evidence
- The Competitions & Markets Authority’s Green Claims Code, a six-point plan to help businesses and organisations back up their green credentials.
- Business Weekly’s handy guide for anyone looking for help to avoid overstating environmental claims.
- Social Value Portal’s Greenhouse Gas Calculator helps organisations of all sizes keep track of their emissions, and build a strategy to get to Net Zero.