Pathways Alliance Scrubs Website In Anticipation Of New Greenwashing Law

Pathways Alliance Scrubs Website In Anticipation Of New Greenwashing Law - Carbon Herald

The Pathways Alliance, a group representing major Canadian oil sands producers, has abruptly cleared its website and social media channels ahead of a new law on greenwashing.

This move comes just ahead of the expected passage of Bill C-59, which includes amendments to the Competition Act aimed at curbing misleading environmental claims.

The Pathways Alliance, known for promoting a massive carbon capture project in Alberta, replaced its website content with a notice on June 19th. This notice states that the group removed content “in response to anticipated changes coming with Bill C-59.”

Relevant: Pathways Alliance To Seek Approval For $16.5B Carbon Capture Project

Bill C-59, also known as the Fall Economic Statement Implementation Act, 2023, is an omnibus bill currently being debated in the Canadian Parliament. 

It includes amendments to the Competition Act proposed after public consultations in spring 2023. Environmental groups like the Canadian Association of Physicians for the Environment (CAPE) played a key role in advocating for these changes.

The proposed amendments aim to address misleading marketing practices related to environmental benefits. 

The act would penalize companies or organizations making false or unsubstantiated claims about a product’s environmental friendliness or ability to mitigate climate change.  

Pathways Alliance Faces Scrutiny

The Pathways Alliance, representing companies like Imperial Oil and Suncor, has previously faced scrutiny for its environmental messaging. 

Greenpeace Canada filed a complaint with the Competition Bureau in March 2023, alleging that the Alliance’s advertising, including national media campaigns with slogans like “our net zero plan is in motion,” is misleading. 

DeSmog has also reported on the Alliance’s use of Google Ads to target searches related to greenwashing.

Relevant: Environmentalists Call For Review Of Pathways Carbon Capture Project

The Pathways Alliance claims Bill C-59 creates uncertainty for companies seeking to communicate environmental efforts. However, the proposed legislation focuses on ensuring companies can back up their environmental claims with evidence.  

General statements about a company’s environmental goals or aspirations are unlikely to be considered misleading.

The full impact of Bill C-59 remains to be seen. However, the Pathways Alliance’s website takedown suggests the legislation may have significant implications for how companies in Canada communicate their environmental initiatives. 

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