Level of competition Bureau to investigate RBC in excess of ‘false or misleading’ environmental claims – Financial system, Legislation & Politics

Before this calendar year, an RBC spokesperson claimed the bank “strongly disagrees with the allegations” | Photo: PiggyBank/Unsplash

Canada’s Opposition Bureau has introduced an inquiry into the marketing procedures of the Royal Financial institution of Canada (RBC) a lot more than 5 months immediately after allegations emerged that the organization built phony and deceptive representations about motion on climate modify.

In an April software to Canada’s Opposition Bureau, Kukpi7 Judy Wilson — secretary-treasurer at the Union of BC Indian Chiefs (UBCIC) and main of the Skat’sin te Secwepemc-Neskonlith Indian Band — joined five other people calling for RBC to stop its financing of fossil fuels and stop “deceiving the public.” 

“Until RBC stops financing fossil fuels, advertising alone as Paris Arrangement-aligned is greenwashing — and it shouldn’t be tolerated,” claimed Wilson in a created statement at the time.

RBC is amongst the prime five banking financiers of fossil gasoline tasks in the planet, and the major in Canada, according to a report manufactured previously this 12 months. The report observed RBC had increased its investments in fossil fuel jobs to practically $38 billion from above $19 billion in 2020.

According to a Sept. 29 letter to the applicants’ legal professionals, the Competitiveness Bureau has “commenced an inquiry” into RBC’s internet marketing methods in accordance with Canada’s Competitors Act.

“The inquiry seeks to determine the details relating to allegations that RBC has contravened the act by making false or deceptive environmental representations,” wrote Adam Zimmerman, senior competitiveness officer for the bureau’s cartels and deceptive advertising practices department.

In April, RBC spokesperson Rafael Ruffolo instructed Glacier Media the financial institution “strongly disagrees with the allegations” and thinks the complaint to be unfounded.

A increase in ‘greenwashing’ allegations

Canada’s Competitiveness Bureau is set up to protect and endorse competitive company methods throughout the place. In latest several years, it has significantly taken on instances connected to ‘greenwashing’ — false or deceptive environmental promises generally advertised to make a corporation or solution appear a lot more sustainable than it truly is.

In January 2022, a world wide report found 40 for every cent of providers make deceptive environmental promises the bureau responded, warning Canadians to be on the lookout for the observe. 

“If a company claims a product or service is ‘green,’ consider a second to replicate on that declare,” stated the bureau in a statement at the time.  

The bureau has experienced good results in the past. In one particular victory versus greenwashing previously this 12 months, the client watchdog achieved an agreement with Keurig Canada to pay back a $3-million penalty right after it produced wrong and misleading environmental statements close to its espresso pods.

In addition to the $3-million penalty, Keurig Canada was forced to shell out for the charge of the bureau’s $85,000 investigation and donate $800,000 to a Canadian environmental charity. 

The firm is no extended permitted to make bogus claims on its packaging, on line or in news media.  

Regulating fossil gas marketing, even so, would be a sea adjust for the bureau. It could also send a concept to an sector that has lengthy been accused of deceiving the community in excess of the known outcomes that burning fossil fuels would carry on to have on the world’s local climate technique.

Past month, a group of physicians and nurses submitted a Level of competition Bureau complaint from the Canadian Gas Association (CGA) alleging it ran a “false and misleading” marketing campaign that touted fuel as an “eco-helpful” gas. 

In that scenario, the 6 candidates are inquiring the independent law enforcement company to impose a $10-million good and pressure the CGA to retract the statements created in its adverts. 


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