Our 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 services are fair and substantiated.
This policy applies to all the forms of marketing and advertising we use, including online marketing (including social media and influencer marketing), direct marketing 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.
We commit to the standards of communication set out in The Anti Greenwash Charter, which are as follows:
We commit to clear communication of what sustainability benefit our product or service offers and don’t conceal or omit information.
We substantiate our sustainability claims with accurate, and regularly evaluated empirical evidence. We commit to sharing facts, figures and statements that can be checked.
We commit to using fair, clear and unambiguous language when providing comparisons with other products or organisations.
We ensure we make specific statements about our organisation’s sustainability efforts and that our actions match those promises.
We implement the following practices and procedures to ensure we uphold the aforementioned standards:
We define the key ‘green’ terms we use to describe our services to ensure our claims are clear and transparent:
- Carbon Neutral: “Carbon neutral/zero carbon refers to a process, energy source, materials, or product that when factoring everything that goes into it neither adds to nor reduces the net amount of CO2 or CO2E (aka greenhouse gases) in the atmosphere.
- Carbon positive: one better than carbon neutral in that the process reduces the net CO2 content in the atmosphere.
- Certified Passivhaus: Buildings that are designed to defined Passivhaus standards and must be constructed under close supervision, a certificate is issued by a Passivhaus Certifier if the defined criteria have been met without exception.
- Passivhaus Principles: a design where the principles of Passivhaus have been followed in respect of some or all the criteria, but the building has not been certified and has not been tested; in these instances, we will explain in more detail the criteria that have been followed for a specific project and what we mean.
- Green roof: We use this term to describe a living planted roof.
- Green/Sustainable/Eco friendly Architecture: building design that creates healthy living environments while aiming to minimize negative environmental impacts, energy consumption, and use of human resources.
- Low Energy building: a building that uses less energy in operation in accordance with Passivhaus Institut definition.
- Natural products: Products that are found in nature (rather than produced synthetically) and which can either be used directly for some particular building function or require human intervention (e.g processing) to make them usable.
- Renewable Energy: that derived without fossil fuel use from a self-sustaining source.
If you come across a term you don’t understand and can’t find it on this list, email Jonathan Hetreed at email@example.com for clarification.
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.
Evidence & Testing
We are clear about whether a building has been designed to meet a specific standard, and whether it has achieved any certification to evidence that standard.
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, the whole office meets to review the intent and discuss changes to the policy.
We know our clients, contractors and fellow consultants 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 conduct user research annually 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 Jonathan Hetreed at firstname.lastname@example.org
We carry out annual 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 Director is responsible for ensuring that our compliance with this Green Claims Policy is reviewed annually. Any non-compliance with this policy will be brought to the attention of the architect team, who will decide on further actions.
Hetreed Ross Architects are RIBA Chartered Architects and Environmental Designers, for Bath, Bristol, Somerset, Wiltshire, Gloucestershire, Dorset and the South West. AECB, EASA and Green Register members. Registered office: Hetreed Ross Architects, Attika Workspace, Bath Brewery, Toll Bridge Road, Bath, BA1 7DE.