March 4th, 2024

Group says Lululemon is ‘greenwashing’ as its emissions rise, wants competition probe

By The Canadian Press on February 12, 2024.

A non-profit organization in British Columbia says it has asked Canada's Competition Bureau to investigate athletic-wear giant Lululemon, arguing the company is misleading customers about its environmental impacts. The Lululemon logo is seen on a wall at the company's headquarters in Vancouver, B.C., Thursday, May 25, 2023. THE CANADIAN PRESS/Darryl Dyck

VANCOUVER – A non-profit organization in British Columbia says it has asked Canada’s Competition Bureau to investigate athletic-wear giant Lululemon, arguing the company is misleading customers about its environmental impacts.

A statement from Stand.earth says Lululemon has been using the slogan “Be Planet” as part of its “impact agenda” released in 2020, but the company’s own reports reveal a doubling of greenhouse-gas emissions since then.

Lululemon’s 2022 impact report says its “products and actions help lead (the) industry toward a climate-stable future where nature and people thrive.”

It says the Vancouver-based company aims to meet a series of climate action targets by 2030, including a 60-per-cent reduction in emissions intensity for “Scope 3” operations, which encompasses the making and shipping of clothing globally.

But Lululemon’s reports, cited by Stand.earth, show total emissions for that category rose to nearly 1.7 million tonnes, up from about 830,000 tonnes in 2020.

Lululemon did not immediately respond to a request for comment.

The company’s report shows “Scope 3” activities represent 99.7 per cent of its total carbon footprint.

The report says Lululemon has met its goal to power its own facilities with “renewable electricity,” while noting the goal to reduce emissions in “Scope 3” operations “needs acceleration.”

Tzeporah Berman, international program director for Stand.earth, told a press conference on Monday that Lululemon’s branding amounts to “greenwashing,” purporting to be a climate steward while pocketing profits associated with rising emissions.

The Competition Bureau has yet to confirm whether it has received the application from Stand.earth to investigate Lululemon under the Competition Act.

This report by The Canadian Press was first published Feb. 12, 2024.

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