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Competition Bureau Probes Oil Companies Over Greenwashing

 |  May 14, 2023

The Competition Bureau is conducting an investigation into an ad campaign that Greenpeace Canada claims is misleading. The campaign implies that Canada’s largest oilsands companies are decreasing greenhouse gas emissions and aiding Canada in reaching its climate goals.

The Pathways Alliance, consisting of Canadian Natural Resources, Cenovus, ConocoPhillips, ExxonMobil subsidiary Imperial, MEG Energy, and Suncor, is accountable for 95% of Canada’s oilsands production. Greenpeace Canada filed a complaint in March regarding the group’s “Let’s clear the air” marketing campaign, which portrays its members as making progress towards net-zero to assist Canada in achieving a sustainable future.

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The complaint highlights that the Pathways Alliance’s aim to achieve net-zero greenhouse gas emissions by 2050 does not take into account the emissions generated during the burning of their fossil fuel products, which constitutes over 80% of fossil fuel emissions. The Competition Bureau’s guidelines require environmental claims to consider a product’s life cycle, and the complaint argues that excluding 80% of emissions from Pathways’ profitable products is not consistent with this guideline.