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Green Claims Policy

As signatories of the Anti-Greenwash Charter, we are committed to upholding good standards of responsible marketing practice. The purpose of this policy is to define the standards we adopt throughout our organisation to ensure green claims made about our products/services are fair and substantiated.

Introduction

This policy applies to all the forms of marketing and advertising we use, including television, radio, online marketing (including social media and influencer marketing), direct marketing, shopper marketing, packaging, events, trade/sales and other professional promotions and communications.

In addition to this policy, all marketing and communications must at all times comply with the relevant local laws and regulations.

Our Standards

We commit to the standards of communication set out in The Anti-Greenwash Charter, which are as follows:

Transparency.

We commit to clear communication of what sustainability benefit our product or service offers and don’t conceal or omit information.

Accountability.

We substantiate our sustainability claims with accurate, and regularly evaluated empirical evidence. We commit to sharing facts, figures and statements that can be checked.

Fairness.

We commit to using fair, clear and unambiguous language when providing comparisons with other products or organisations.

Honesty.

We ensure we make specific statements about our organisation’s sustainability efforts and that our actions match those promises.

Our Practices

We implement the following practices and procedures to ensure we uphold the aforementioned standards:

Definitions

We define all the key ‘green’ terms we use to describe our products and services to ensure our claims are clear and transparent:

‘Sustainable’ – Our definition would be that this is a renewable resource, usually plant or animal based, that can be replenished at or faster than the rate at which it is consumed. It is easy to cut down existing trees and use them without re-planting but this would not be sustainable. We rely on the FSC certification scheme to verify that our main suppliers are sourcing products sustainably.

‘Natural’ – Naturally derived product in it’s original form or with mechanical processing, no chemical processing. This ensures that the products we buy are as low embodied energy as possible.

‘Low Embodied Energy’ – We use Environmental Product Declarations to inform us of the energy involved in manufacturing the products we select. All of these products would have lower embodied energy than the synthetic equivalent.

‘Carbon negative/carbon neutral’ – From the information on the Environmental Product Declarations we can see whether, overall, materials have net negative, neutral or positive carbon emission.

‘Hygroscopic’ – This is a material that adsorbs, and releases water molecules on to the surfaces of the materials. Highly hygroscopic materials can buffer humidity by this process.

‘Breathable’ – This is the common name for the term ‘vapour permeability’. We’d view it as a relative sliding scale, determined by looking at the vapour permeability coefficient for products on an individual basis and comparing them. There is no formal definition of breathable or non breathable, just a sliding scale of vapour permeability.

‘Recyclable’ – Products can be broken down and along with some new material, can be used to create new product.

If you come across a term you don’t understand and can’t find it on this list, email Chris at chris@backtoearth.co.uk for clarification.

Editorial Processes

We have two editors review every piece of content and their green claims before publication and distribution. When writing content, our team refers to our list of clearly defined terms and updates the list when using a new term. We recognise and reward staff members who challenge our green claims.

Training

All new employees receive an in-house training session on our Green Claims Policy and The Anti-Greenwash Charter so they fully understand the issues and benefits.

We include clear documentation in our employee handbook so all our employees can refer back to it whenever needed. Each year, every employee attends a refresher training session to discuss changes to the policy.

User Engagement

We know our users are invaluable in our fight against greenwashing, which is why we commit to answering any emails about our green claims within three working days. We regularly conduct user research to find out how our customers interpret our green claims to ensure that they are clearly understandable.

If you have any questions or feedback on this policy or our green claims, please email Chris Brookman at chris@backtoearth.co.uk.

Regular Reviews

We carry out quarterly internal audits of our content and check all our references are up to date. During this audit, we also check for new developments in the industry that we can benchmark against.

Being a signatory of The Anti-Greenwash Charter is a continuous process; as such, we review our marketing practices yearly to ensure we are still compliant with any changes to the Charter.

Governance of this Policy

Our Founder, Chris Brookman is responsible for ensuring that our compliance with this Green Claims Policy is reviewed quarterly. Any non-compliance with this policy will be brought to the attention of the Marketing Team, who will decide on further actions.

Before entering into new partnerships with third parties, such as suppliers, we share our Green Claims Policy with them. By signing a contract with us, third parties agree to adhere to these guidelines. Each time we update our policy, we send them a copy to sign.

CPD Training

We offer CPD training for architects practices across Devon and Cornwall.

Software Modelling

We offer dynamic heat and moisture modelling as well as condensation risk analyses.

Building Plan Review

If you have some plans and would like our opinion on which materials would be the best for you, contact us.

Overview

Back to Earth is a natural building material supplier. We're not your typical builders'​ merchant though and instead work closely with our clients during the planning, designing and building phases of projects.

Back to Earth is a proud signatory of the Anti-Greenwash Charter:

© 2018 Back to Earth