A new report published by Greenpeace reveals the extent of greenwashing by Australian energy providers. The 2022 Green Electricity guide, released this week, ranks different companies to help consumers “cut through the greenwash and spin.”
A term frequently discussed in the realm of sustainability, greenwashing refers to the marketing technique employed by companies to make products and services appear eco-friendly when they may actually be causing a great deal of harm to the environments.
The report ranked more than 40 energy providers against six main criteria, comprising of: providing renewable energy, ending coal use by 2030, stopping fossil fuel expansion, supporting renewable energy, how transparent their marketing is and their overall rate of pollution and environmental harm. In the first report conducted since 2018, the focus this time is primarily on the marketing and greenwashing aspect of companies.
Each company was provided a score out of five stars. Of this, only 15 of the 48 companies scored four stars or above, a concerning sign of the times when it comes to the future of the planet and local access to genuinely greener, conscious energy.
According to the report, the following companies are the top 10 green energy providers:
- Enova Energy
- Diamond Energy
- Momentum Energy
- Aurora Energy
- Indigo Power
- Energy Locals
- Nectr Energy
- Amber Electric
In an unsurprising turn, the largest energy companies in the nation ranked the poorest with Australia’s foremost provider, AGL, ranked the worst behind Origin Energy and Energy Australia. Combined, the three companies hold the largest market share in Australia and were each only awarded a single star.
While these findings of greenwashing energy companies are concerning – and should cause the requisite alarm within the national population – it wouldn’t be unheard of if most Australians continued with their current energy providers, rather than reassessing and choosing one that is actively trying to improve practice. As a nation, we fall well behind in looking to change our environmental impact. 76 per cent of Australia’s energy comes from burning fossil fuels, alongside our greenhouse gas emissions from coal power the highest in the world per capita.
Increasingly hot summers. Ocean temperatures at record highs. The people seeking refuge in dingys in the sea from bushfires. These are the scenes to which Australians are gradually becoming accustomed, despite the obvious concern they warrant. Through small changes, like unpacking who your energy provider is, the population can attain greater knowledge and work towards changing ingrained habits detrimental to the environment.
*Shell's acquisition of Powershop was completed last week.