As part of the UN Fashion Industry Charter for Climate Action, 100 fashion brands, retailers and manufacturers have set a target to phasing out coal across their Tier 1 and Tier 2 suppliers by 2030, including no new coal power by January 2023 at the latest. 

This matters because the majority of fashion’s greenhouse gas emissions are generated at the fabric processing stage, where coal-powered boilers produce vast quantities of hot water and steam to dye fabrics to meet the color demands of our non-stop trend cycle. 

Whether the challenge of this commitment is being met by all signatory members is under debate, but the promise itself is a positive sign that coal as a source of energy is moving towards extinction in the fashion industry. 

However, phasing out fossil fuels is only part of the goal. Ultimately, the aim is for a genuinely sustainable industry, with today’s polluting supply chain transitioning to clean renewable energy such as wind and solar.

Unfortunately, some brands are taking shortcuts to get there. The result of which is even more harmful impacts on people and the planet. The strategy they are betting on is switching from fossil fuels to biomass, a broad term covering anything from trees to agricultural waste replacing coal in powering the textile manufacturing.

For example, Inditex (the parent company of Zara, Bershka, Pull & Bear, Stradivarius, Oysho and Massimo Dutti) announced in June that they would be phasing out coal by 2030 in order to meet seemingly ambitious new 50% emissions reduction targets. But environmental campaign group argued this strategy relies on biomass which will distract from crucial investments in clean renewable energy:

“Inditex’s new on-site coal phase out target is an essential step, the company dilutes its own climate targets by promoting biomass burning as an alternative — a process environmentally worse than coal burning — instead of electrification. Biomass throws out harmful air pollution, impacting workers and communities around Inditex’s own factories, and is associated with serious human rights concerns.”

This concern is shared by several civil society organizations in Indonesia, where deforestation of ancient rainforests caused by the growth of the biomass energy market is threatening local livelihoods and biodiversity. The organizations, including Trend Asia, Rainforest Action Network and Friends of the Earth Indonesia, recently published an open letter to the fashion industry expressing concerns about the social and environmental harms of biomass being used as a fossil fuel alternative. 

The letter urges global fashion brands and retailers to reconsider using biomass in their supply chains because of how deforestation threatens the livelihoods of Indigenous people, damages wildlife habitats through monoculture practices, and competes with land use for farming, which impacts food security for local communities. 

“We are deeply concerned that fashion brands’ decarbonization strategies fail to consider the detrimental social and environmental impacts of biomass on communities in Indonesia and other regions of Southeast Asia… As a concrete step towards a 100% renewable energy commitment, we urge the fashion industry to phase out fossil fuels, leapfrogging the practice of burning biomass, and accelerate the adoption of genuinely clean energy sources like solar and wind power.”

Beyond Indonesia, a study from Royal Holloway found that a third of the estimated 1,200 garment factories across Cambodia were burning through an average of 562 metric tons of forest wood every day, using it as fuel for generating thermal energy. A recent investigation has since linked fashion companies’ use of biomass to illegal logging from ancient and endangered forests in Cambodia, including Target, H&M, Gap, Inditex, Levi’s and others. 

Meanwhile, research group Ember has shown that burning woody biomass in the UK actually generates more CO2 emissions than the coal it claims to replace, while the growth of biomass power plants in the EU also risks worsening the impacts of climate change. This builds on the debunked claim that biomass is carbon neutral — evidence suggests that the carbon debt resulting from deforestation would take several decades to repay, and in the meantime, emits more carbon dioxide per unit of energy produced than fossil fuels when it’s burned. 

The solution is clear: the fashion industry needs to invest in decarbonization of their supply chains by scaling up clean, renewable energy from solar and wind through onsite generation and power purchase agreements, transitioning to electric boilers, and advocating for a clean energy grid to power them, and innovating with dry processing technologies to reduce energy demand. 

While brands must continue to phase out fossil fuels such as coal, the use of biomass is a false solution. Instead, fashion brands must commit to 100% clean renewable energy in their supply chains by 2030, in order to reduce their emissions and tackle climate change.

For years, luxury brands have escaped the same level of scrutiny shown to fast fashion brands regarding their environmental practices. Hidden behind prestigious labels, there is a misguided assumption that the higher the price for an item, the more sustainable it is. But we need to hold luxury brands accountable too, because they control a huge amount of money, power, influence, and most importantly, emissions.

Greenhouse gas emissions from some of the biggest names in the luxury fashion sector are only increasing, despite growing attention of high-profile sustainability initiatives like The Fashion Pact. In 2021 the fashion houses behind brands Chanel, Saint Laurent, Celine and Dior emitted roughly 9.3 million tonnes of CO2 equivalent — that’s more than half the emissions made by the entire country of Cambodia, an apparel hub with a population of 16.7 million people and a textile GDP in the tens of billions.

This is why Action Speaks Louder has teamed up with KPOP4PLANET to target luxury fashion with a new report, Luxury’s Dirty Little Secrets, and campaign urging brands to decarbonise their supply chains and reduce their emissions.

KPOP4PLANET is a global movement of Kpop fans calling for meaningful climate action from powerful corporations. Kpop fans are passionate about their idols, so when it comes to companies using Kpop’s growing influence to sell their products, the KPOP4PLANET community is perfectly placed to hold them to account for their impacts on the planet. In the fashion industry, luxury brands regularly recruit Kpop stars as ambassadors in order to grow their profits. Yet as KPOP4PLANET points out, while the k-idol “brand ambassadors are A+, brands’ climate commitments fail.”.

That’s why the new High Fashion, High Carbon campaign targets four brands associated with leading Kpop group BLACKPINK: Chanel, Kering (Saint Laurent), and LVMH (Celine and Dior). The campaign  is asking these brands to commit to 100% renewable energy in their supply chain by 2030, set an absolute emissions reduction target of at least 43%, and provide full transparency on their supply chain, including energy mix, emissions and renewable energy procurement.

As part of this campaign, we have co-published a report exposing Luxury’s Dirty Little Secrets. This report scores the four brands against various criteria relating to their climate commitments and actions, including their emissions at scopes 1, 2 and 3, their targets on emissions reductions and renewable energy in the supply chain, and details of their decarbonisation strategy including financial support for suppliers, procurement of renewables and how they are working towards short-term, interim targets.

The key findings of the report are that all four brands have failed to meet the scale of the climate challenge. For example, all brands have increased their scope 3 emissions over the past year, none of the brands have set an emissions reduction target aligned with the latest climate science, and we are yet to see demonstrated action towards a credible climate transition plan from any of the brands, with a lack of transparency on renewable energy procurement and support for suppliers to transition away from fossil fuels. However, Saint Laurent performed marginally better than the rest due to their supply chain renewable energy target, and Chanel performed the worst because of an exceptionally weak emissions reduction target.


If these billionaire-owned brands step up and commit to meaningful climate action by investing in deep decarbonisation of their supply chains — where the majority of emissions are produced — they can help accelerate the green energy transition globally.

Join Kpop4Planet’s campaign:

  1. Sign the petition,  
  2. Share the report
  3. Vote for a brand
  4. Follow along on social media for updates.

Big fashion companies have a long list of shortcomings when it comes to their climate impacts. From weak emissions reduction targets and a lack of investment in renewables to relying on carbon offsetting, insetting and renewable energy certificates, it’s easy to spot the problems with corporate sustainability strategies. But it’s not all bad news. By implementing clear, credible commitments and investing in commercially available solutions for fossil fuel-free supply chains, brands can create a pathway towards deep decarbonisation.

Throughout our campaign targeting Canadian activewear brand Lululemon, we have shared practical, evidence-based solutions with the brand that would enable them to speed up the transition to 100% renewable energy in their supply chain. Here, we’ll explore some of those ideas in more detail.

1. Make a public commitment

The first step to any decarbonisation plan should start with a commitment to action by setting specific, measurable and time-bound targets that are grounded in climate science, such as 100% renewable energy in the supply chain by 2030, and a 50% reduction in absolute emissions from scope 3 by 2030. The commitments should be public-facing, for example published on the brands’ website and CSR reports, not just agreed internally. This is because it sends a strong signal to the sector that change is coming, including customers, shareholders, suppliers, industry associations and competitors, as well as those who can help enable this change to happen, such as energy suppliers and local governments.

Of course, targets alone are not enough without a credible strategy to accompany them, which includes interim goals along a realistic timeline, and clear commitments to financial investment to resource their level of ambition within the supply chain. Successful target-setting requires transparency and accuracy so that climate commitments can be scrutinised and held to account, such as reporting on scope 3 emissions using location-based accounting (emissions from energy consumed) rather than market-based accounting (emissions from energy purchased). As our campaign manager Ruth MacGilp expressed in her viewpoint for the Fashion Transparency Index: “Climate targets are not just something to splash on an impact report while farms, factories and mills are left to pick up the pieces….We need transparency on the actions taken to reach targets and robust accountability mechanisms for false sustainability claims.”

When it comes to renewable energy in their supply chain and a significant reduction in absolute emissions, Lululemon has not yet made a public commitment. 

Even if there are some indications of work towards decarbonisation happening behind the scenes, Lululemon’s progress will not accelerate fast enough until they have at least publicly stated their pledge. If nothing is disclosed publicly about what they’re aiming for or how they plan to get there, we have to assume nothing is being done, and therefore Lululemon loses the trust of customers and broader civil society for failing to meet the climate challenge.

One area where bold commitments are being made is in the realm of ‘sustainable materials’, but we don’t see this same level of ambition for cleaning up the supply chain energy mix, where the majority of emissions can be attributed. For example, Lululemon has publicly committed to ‘make 100 percent of our products with sustainable materials by 2030’, which includes an interim target to ‘achieve at least 75 percent sustainable materials for our products by 2025.’ 

However, according to Changing Markets’ Synthetics Anonymous report, 62% of the materials Lululemon currently uses in its products are fossil-fuel based fabrics like polyester.

This suggests that Lululemon has a long way to go to achieve their sustainable materials target, but they are showing early signs of progress, for example by investing in plant-based nylon. This investment has clearly been driven by a public commitment that motivates action internally in the business and invites collaboration across the sector. A public commitment has the power to catalyse a plan in motion and the allocation of resources. 

2. Provide real support for suppliers

The fatal flaw for the fashion industry’s climate action so far has been a lack of recognition of where the majority of climate impacts are produced, and most intensely felt: within the supply chain. This is why brands must match their sustainability goals with a Supplier Clean Energy Programme in order to help their suppliers transition to renewable energy. 

This programme must include a financial commitment — for example, we would like to see Lululemon invest in a Supplier Clean Energy Fund with at least 1.5% of their revenue (equivalent to roughly $121.5 million USD in 2022). It may sound like a lot, but there are large upfront costs involved in, for example, decommissioning coal-fired boilers and installing onsite solar panels. The good news is that there is a return on investment for brands, who not only enable their suppliers to help meet sustainability targets, therefore attracting ESG investment, but also receive payback on those initial costs over time with improved energy efficiency, reduced energy demand and waste, and the freedom from fluctuating fossil fuel prices.

In addition to financial support through the Supplier Clean Energy Fund, Lululemon must also provide technical assistance to suppliers, tailored by country. 

This may include training staff on new processes and equipment, and providing assistance in brokering shared investment in wind and solar projects which suppliers can benefit from. As part of this, Lululemon should develop a Supplier Clean Energy Procurement Policy that requires suppliers to purchase the highest quality renewable energy available. This will be local and additional wind and solar power, rather than relying on Renewable Energy Certificates, carbon offsetting or false solutions like biomass.  

Overall, purchasing practices must create an enabling environment for this programme to roll out across complex global supply chains. Many fashion brands engage in irresponsible purchasing practices, which include short term contracts, last minute changes and cancellations, short lead times, high-pressure price reductions and withholding of payments. This uneven distribution of power creates a barrier to successful decarbonisation, because in order to invest the time, money and resources necessary to transition away from fossil fuels, suppliers must be able to trust that their buyers will not abandon them and threaten the job security of their employees, and they must be assured that their efforts will attract and retain customers beyond simply meeting the specific targets of any individual brand.

3. Push for a green energy grid

The political landscapes of sourcing countries can be challenging for brands that want to invest in renewable energy, often due to the influence of the state over the national grid which favours the interests of fossil fuel companies. However, in all of the countries where Lululemon sources its products, onsite Power Purchase Agreements (PPAs) are available. This means that in their tier 1 and tier 2 factories in places like Vietnam, China, Sri Lanka, Cambodia and Indonesia, Lululemon could start the work of installing rooftop solar panels immediately. What’s more, in markets where Corporate Power Purchase Agreements (CPPAs) are available, such as Taiwan and South Korea, the brand can work with local authorities to procure energy from offsite wind and solar power, creating local and additional renewable energy capacity.

Where CPPAs are not available, Lululemon should engage in lobbying activities that advocate for corporate investment in renewable energy. 

Lululemon could start by developing a Climate Policy Engagement Programme with specific goals and mechanisms for each main sourcing country, again with a focus on enabling quality wind and solar energy. As part of this, Lululemon must provide detailed reporting on its climate policy engagement, which should include advocacy activities by country, both by Lululemon individually and as part of industry associations or groups of multiple brands. 

There are good examples of this type of advocacy from fashion brands, such as a letter to the Vietnamese government urging the country to introduce direct power purchase agreements, and a letter to the Cambodian government expressing concern about its plans to increase coal power generation. These efforts are impactful because global fashion brands have a significant financial influence in the countries they source from, such as in Bangladesh where apparel makes up 80% of all export earnings. When a government’s lack of progress on climate gets noticed by major corporations, this threatens their position as a leading sourcing country, and therefore their economic growth. 

4. Invest in low-carbon technology

More than half of the fashion industry’s supply chain emissions come from Tier 2, which is the stage at which materials are processed, including washing, dyeing and finishing. The reason for this is that material processing at scale requires large quantities of hot water to produce steam, and traditionally this is heated by burning a fuel feedstock, such as coal. 

In order to tackle this problem, many factories are switching from burning coal to burning biomass, which describes bio-based feedstocks such as wood pellets and rice husks. However, we do not believe that this is a credible climate solution for Lululemon, because there is little evidence that biomass can be sustainably sourced at scale without threatening biodiversity. Above all, biomass still requires combustion, which produces harmful air pollution that may be toxic to the health of workers and local communities, and still generates carbon emissions despite claims that these are offset by trees or crops re-growing, therefore biomass cannot be considered ‘renewable’

The alternative to combustion-based boilers is, naturally, electrification.

You can think about it in a similar way to the benefits of an electric stove vs. a gas stove. Of course, even with an electric boiler, the electricity supplying the factory may still be coming from a coal-powered national grid. But electrifying factories is the best way to future-proof for a net-zero future, while the climate policy engagement programme mentioned above comes in to fill the gap. What’s more, there are numerous technologies — such as onsite heat pumps — which can significantly reduce emissions. 

In addition, Lululemon can start working with new technology that reduces or even removes the need for these heating systems altogether. 

For example, several innovators as part of the D(r)ye Factory of the Future programme have developed dry processing technologies such as plasma and laser treatments, spray dyeing, supercritical carbon dioxide and foam dyeing. According to Fashion For Good, if these technologies were scaled up with the help of investment from fashion brands like Lululemon, dry processing has the potential to abate up to 26% of the industry’s greenhouse gas emissions.

Lululemon has the opportunity to lead fashion’s green transition

We believe that Lululemon’s influence as one of the largest sportswear brands in the world means that if it shifts to 100% renewables, it will accelerate demand for clean energy worldwide, and help develop the policy and finance solutions needed to support meaningful, systemic change towards a climate positive future. 

You can help us ask Lululemon to take action for people and the planet – join our campaign!

Thursday, 3rd August 2023
Sydney, Australia

100+ professional athletes call for climate action from Lululemon

World-renowned athletes unite in a letter to sportswear brand Lululemon demanding a strong commitment to renewable energy to put a stop to rising greenhouse gas emissions

  • EcoAthletes, an advocacy organisation representing 129 professional athletes including Lululemon ambassadors, has signed an open letter to Canadian activewear retailer Lululemon asking them to phase out fossil fuels and commit to 100% wind and solar in their supply chain by 2030. The letter has been delivered to Lululemon CEO Calvin McDonald with the expectation of a response in the coming weeks. 
  • These athletes join more than 7,000 yoga students and teachers from around the world who are actively urging the brand, which aligns itself closely with the yoga community, to take meaningful climate action. 
  • As Lululemon expands its audience beyond yoga and towards running, hiking, surfing, skiing and other outdoor sports and activities, the momentum of the campaign is building, led by environmental non-profit organisations Action Speaks Louder and

Climate change is threatening the future of sport. From surfers concerned about rising sea levels and warming oceans to winter sports battling with the loss of snow and ice cover, it is clear that our ability to enjoy the outdoors for sports and recreation will be increasingly challenged by the impacts of the climate crisis. At this year’s Tour de France, cyclists were forced to wear ‘ice vests’ to survive the heatwave in Southern Europe, and organisers are considering rescheduling the competition to cooler months.

Meanwhile, the clothing and shoes that athletes wear has a significant contribution to this problem. The fashion industry is responsible for around 2% of global greenhouse gas emissions while the carbon footprint of sportswear giant Lululemon – the official apparel supplier of Team Canada for the Olympics – increased by a massive 60% in the past year alone. The majority of these emissions are produced at the manufacturing stage, which is why we need major brands to take bold steps to decarbonise their supply chains.

“Athletes are legendary for summoning the will to overcome huge obstacles, but they’ve never faced a tougher opponent than climate change. We support this campaign because the sportswear industry must step up to meet the challenge of reducing their emissions and investing in clean, green energy, and this includes Lululemon.” 

– Lewis Blaustein, Founder and CEO, EcoAthletes.

In spite of this urgent need for change, Lululemon has only made a commitment to renewable energy in their own operations — their stores, offices and warehouses — ignoring the outsized impact of their supply chain. Most of their suppliers are still heavily dependent on fossil fuels such as coal, with only 2% powered by renewable energy. What’s more, Lululemon has only committed to a 60% intensity-based reduction of greenhouse gas emissions in their supply chain by 2030. This means that as the brand continues to grow, emissions are likely to soar well past a 1.5ºC aligned pathway.

This letter, supported by 129 athletes committed to a positive future for the planet, urges Lululemon to make a public commitment to sourcing 100% renewable energy — wind and solar — in its supply chain by 2030. As part of this, lululemon must phase out dangerous fossil fuels from its supply chain and support its suppliers to transition to clean energy sources in order to avoid the most catastrophic consequences of climate change.

“We hope that Calvin McDonald listens to these passionate climate advocates. They represent a growing chorus of athletes who want the brand to align its values of sustainability, wellness and community with its environmental practices hidden within the supply chain. Lululemon has the opportunity now to be a leader in pushing for a green transition across the fashion industry.”
– Ruth MacGilp, Fashion Campaign Manager at Action Speaks Louder.

Lululemon’s powerful market influence means that if it shifts to 100% renewable energy in its supply chain, it will help create demand for renewable energy and develop the policy and finance solutions needed to support a meaningful, systemic change. 

Find out more about the lululemon campaign: 

For further information and interview requests, please contact:

Dear Calvin McDonald, CEO of lululemon athletica inc.

We are coming together as 129 professional athletes, represented by EcoAthletes and supported by Action Speaks Louder.

As athletes and advocates for meaningful climate action, we are writing to ask lululemon to make a public commitment to source 100% renewable wind and solar power across its supply chain by 2030.

Currently, lululemon’s climate targets are too weak to meaningfully reduce its rapidly increasing greenhouse gas emissions. In the last year alone, lululemon’s scope 3 emissions actually increased, by a whopping 60%. As the business grows, a continued dependence on fossil fuels is simply not an option if lululemon wants to stop contributing to dangerous climate change which threatens people and the planet.

Over the past 12 months, over 7,000 yoga students and teachers, including current and former lululemon ambassadors, have been calling on lululemon to demonstrate the values it claims to hold and take urgent and meaningful climate action. Now, athletes in a myriad of sports are joining them to ask lululemon to phase out dangerous fossil fuels and source 100% wind and solar energy in the supply chain. 

The future of all our sports depends upon a safe, healthy environment, from the mountains to the sea. But this is threatened by the growing impacts of climate change, which are driven by emissions-intensive companies like lululemon. 

lululemon is a leader in creating products that help us to perform at our best. We are calling on lululemon to play forward and become the leader on climate action that our sports and communities need. 


Full list of athletes

My first Camera was a Canon Rebel T6. It was a workhorse, utilitarian and strong, and the first awkward photos I took with that machine ignited something inside me. Some deep primal desire blinked to life inside me when I opened those photos on a big screen and saw the color and bokeh in the captured folds of light. It was the first step on my journey as a photographer.

Another milestone on my journey occurred on September 9th, 2020, in San Francisco CA. The dry summer had culminated in a series of Megafires up the west coast. 9,917 fires burned in 8 different states, ultimately causing 12 billion dollars worth of damage—the largest recorded wildfire in California’s history. On the 6th, I got a few frantic texts from my family in Washington state that fires were starting to encroach on my Father’s land, and on the 7th I received a call from my sister telling me that her house in Malden, WA had burned down in a separate fire. Malden lost 80% of its houses in the fire, and my sister, her boyfriend, and their two children were homeless. Two days later, on the 9th, the skies turned orange in San Francisco from the combined smoke from those fires.

A view of San Francisco from Corona Heights. The sky is completely orange due to the wild bushfires.

Corona Heights, September 9th, 2020, by Patrick Perkins

It was as dark as dusk when I took this photo at noon from Corona Heights in the Castro District. I remember the numb feeling of sinking claustrophobia as I thought about my sister, now a climate refugee. My immediate family was poor, but between the 5 of us we had some orchard land in Washington, and my sister’s house. Now, one house down, one to go. It felt like a matter of time before my father’s land burned up like my sister’s.

Burnt ruins from what used to be a house.

The remnants of my sister’s house, September 16th, 2020, by Madeleine Perkins

If you’re here reading this article, I have to assume you already know that Canon lags behind other camera manufacturers in climate goals. You probably also know that Canon is supporting climate denial propaganda, through the “Canon Institute for Global Studies.” On CIGS’s website you can find multiple articles by Research Director Taishi Sugiyama that push climate denialist propaganda. Mr Sugiyama has prolifically published books and articles on the topic, making bold statements such as “Gradual global warming may continue, but there are no signs of a catastrophe” and “The climate crisis is liberal propaganda.”

A view of San Francisco with hazy, cloudy orange skies due to the bushfires.

Sutro Tower, September 9th, 2020, by Patrick Perkins

After the Camera’s Don’t Lie photography competition published the winning photograph in Times Square, Canon got a chance to respond to the allegations that they were pushing a harmful narrative in this article in Petapixel. I strongly encourage you to read it yourself and see if you can wrap your mind around the outlandish logic they employ when measuring their meager climate goals (they currently have no goal set for reaching net zero carbon emissions, standing at odds to Nikon, Sony, Panasonic, Ricoh, and Fujifilm). You can also read Canon’s bizarre statements distancing themselves from the “Canon Institute for Global Studies,” the think-tank that Canon established and that bears their name.

A view of downtown San Francisco with hazy orange skies, due to the bushfires.

Downtown San Francisco, September 9th, 2020, by Patrick Perkins

I have to wonder how long Canon thinks it can get away with this unscientific harmful propaganda. Does Canon worry about being directly associated with an ideology as unpopular as climate change denial? Is Canon so disconnected from their customers that they think this disregard towards the environment won’t ever affect their bottom line? You might remember that sky turned orange again, this time in NYC and this time on June 7th, 2023—did that shift their ideology at all? How many photographs is it going to take, of drying lakes and bushfires and floods and dead fish and orange skies, before they say enough is enough? Or will they have to choke on the ashes of their burning houses, like my sister did, before they change their mind?

Patrick Perkins is a designer, photographer, and artist living in San Francisco, CA. See his work, Stay In Touch Studio, here

What can we actually do, as individuals, to fight climate change? And will any of it make a difference?

The conversation around the climate crisis has never been louder. This is a good thing, but it’s also making it increasingly difficult for us to get a feeling for what’s greenwashing and what is actually effective in addressing the crisis. 

To help cut through the noise, here’s a few things that you can do to help fight climate change:

1. Do the small stuff, it adds up. 

From riding your bike to work instead of driving, to reducing the amount of meat you eat per week, to recycling your waste at home — every little thing you do does matter. 

Lund University ranked the personal lifestyle changes with the biggest impact on climate change. They found that if you want to make a difference, the best things you can do are: eat a plant-based diet, avoid air travel, and live car-free. 

These aren’t strict rules, but rather recommendations that you can adopt based on what makes sense and is feasible for you. The world works in a certain way — and while we are trying to change it, we are also living in it, after all. 

2. Don’t carry the weight of the world on your shoulders. 

The truth is the climate crisis is a result of the actions of big corporations, as well as governments. While we, as individuals, can take steps and play our part in fighting climate change, it is important to remember this. 

It suits polluting corporations to try to pin the blame on individuals, ultimately because it helps downplay their own role and takes the spotlight off their inaction. 

You probably know about the concept of measuring and reducing your carbon footprint. But did you know it’s a term coined by fossil fuel company BP in 2005?

So whilst you have a duty to do what you can, remember to also take care of yourself. It’s the only way we can truly fight the crisis.

3. Ask questions.

It’s so easy to get caught up in greenwashing. Nowadays, most brands and companies are very vocal about their climate efforts. These efforts, however, will often include things like: 

  • Clothing lines made out of recycled polyester from plastic bottles
  • Net zero claims due to carbon offsetting schemes
  • Companies doing beach clean up initiatives while relying on fossil fuels for their supply chains
  • Fashion brands creating resale programmes while not reducing the volume of clothing they are producing
  • Brands using recycled packaging while using mixed plastic materials for their products — which are not recyclable

And so many more. 

As a consumer, you have a great deal of power. When a brand or company makes sustainability claims, you may not be able to control whether they are greenwashing or being truthful — but you can ask questions. Hop on TikTok, Instagram or Twitter and ask the company to explain itself. Generally, companies (like most of us) tend to behave better when they are being watched. Even if you’re not an expert, you can use your consumer power and scrutinise. 

Better still: if you have the time, read up. Greenwashing can be complex and the methods companies use today to persuade us that they are taking climate action are getting increasingly sophisticated. A good place to start is by reading the NewClimate Institute’s Corporate Climate Responsibility Monitor, which assesses the transparency and integrity of 24 major companies across different industries. 

4. Engage. And if you’re able to, vote. 

Politics may well get on your nerves, but voting for politicians with the strongest environmental policies — and those who reject polluter lobbying — is one of the best ways to ensure we’re on the right track. As citizens we should ask questions, turn up the pressure, and engage.

But it’s not just about voting. If you can, write to your local politician. Pay them a visit in their office. Speak with them when they’re visiting the local school for a photo shoot. 

Big companies knock on their doors every day — let’s make sure we do the same.

5. Create some change from within. 

Your school, workplace and community are places where you can have a meaningful impact. Engage in conversations with your family, friends and peers – and, if you’re in a position where you feel comfortable and safe doing so, your employer. 

As we keep saying, changing the way corporations and institutions behave is the key to tackling climate change. And as an employee you have the power to potentially influence the way your company behaves. 

How? Work For Climate has some great resources on this topic. But, as any big or meaningful task, it starts with asking questions. Ask your boss about your company’s climate policy. Ask if they have Net Zero targets. Ask about their energy suppliers, and whether they use renewable energy. If your company manufactures products, ask about their supply chain — is it powered by fossil fuels? How do they regulate and measure its impact on the environment? 

6. Join an organisation that can create change. 

Nobody can change the world alone. That’s why Action Speaks Louder exists: to use our collective power to create systemic change. And we have already done so. 

We sent nearly 9,000 emails to Hyundai to stop them from building a new Liquified Natural Gas plant in South Korea — and they did. We sent over 14,000 emails to Samsung executives to persuade them to switch over to renewable energy in their supply chain — and they did.

The power of the collective does work. Which is why the last effective way to fight climate change is to join a climate organisation by signing petitions, contacting company executives, and taking action on campaigns. 

Action Speaks Louder’s plan is to create public and regulatory pressure to push companies to live up to their own climate change promises – specifically in taking solid steps such as committing to 100% renewable energy. And in so doing, use these companies’ influence to unlock clean energy policies in some of the world’s most polluting countries. 

You can check out some of our campaigns here. 

So — ask questions, scrutinise, put pressure on governments, regulators and corporations. Vote. Read. And in the meantime, do the small everyday things that add up.

We already have the tools to fight this. Let’s get on it.


2023年2月15日 日本のテクノロジー企業であるキヤノンのシンクタンク、キヤノングローバル戦略研究所(CIGS)が広めている気候変動懐疑論に対する問題意識を高めるため、気候変動をテーマにした世界規模の写真コンテストが開始されました。

このコンテストは、気候変動を懸念する写真家と、グローバル企業の社会的責任を追求する団体「Action Speaks Louder」により開催され、キャッチフレーズとして「#CamerasDontLie」を掲げています。これは、キヤノンのシンクタンクの研究主幹であり、政策決定に影響力がある審議会のメンバーでもある杉山大志氏が、気候非常事態を「フェイクニュース」と呼び、中高生を対象とした本など気候科学に疑問を呈する書籍を出版したことに対応するものです。

研究主幹の発言は、キヤノンがクリーンエネルギーへのコミットメントに出遅れたことと一致しています。ソニー、リコー、富士フイルム、ニコン、パナソニックなどの同業他社が再生可能エネルギー100%を約束しているのに対し、キヤノンは4.85%の再生可能エネルギー目標しか約束していません。2022年末のTransition Asiaの報告書でも、キヤノンが排出量削減目標を事実上半減させていることが明らかにされています。

この写真コンテストは一般に公開され、Celina Chien氏、Hisham Akira Bharoocha氏、石川直樹氏など、影響力のある写真家、アーティスト、活動家が審査員として参加します。また、「#CamerasDontLie」の最優秀賞受賞作は、2023年3月下旬に予定されているキヤノンの年次株主総会に先立ち、ニューヨークのタイムズスクエアのビルボード広告でも披露される予定です。

Action Speaks Louderは、キヤノンに対し、CIGSの反科学的かつ化石燃料を支持する見解を決して擁護しない旨の公式声明を発表するよう要求しています。また、キヤノンに対し、再生可能エネルギー100%にコミットし、日本における迅速なエネルギー転換の実現に向けた政策提言をするよう求めています。

「キヤノンは世界で最も影響力のあるブランドの1つであり、真の気候変動対策を促進する力を有しています。しかし、キヤノンが気候変動懐疑論を推進し、クリーンエネルギーに関するひどい記録を残しているという現実は、顧客に衝撃を与えるでしょう。このコンテストは、世界中の写真家の創造力を活かし、キヤノンが自称している持続可能な企業であるよう求めることを目的としています。」ジェームズ・ロレンツ|Action Speaks Louder エグゼクティブ・ディレクター

「気候変動を否定し、気候科学に関する不正確な情報を広めることは、この地球上で私たちが共に生きる未来を破壊することと同じです。キヤノンは、企業として、またグローバルブランドとして、大きな責任を負っています。キヤノンは、歴史の間違った側に名を残すことを望んでいるのでしょうか。環境に関する誤った情報発信へのサポートをやめ、変化をもたらすストーリーテリングの媒体となってください。」セリーナ・チエン|Cameras Don’t Lie 審査員フォトジャーナリスト、俳優

「気候変動問題をめぐる『科学論争にみえるもの』のかなりの部分は、行動の先送りを目的としたものです。持続可能な未来を目指す企業は、企業のコアバリューを損なう作為的な論争から距離を置くべきでしょう。」 江守 正多|東京大学 未来ビジョン研究センター 教授/国立環境研究所 上級主席研究員

「キヤノンは杉山氏のミスインフォメーションを看過することで、自社の評判を落としてしまっている。彼を止めることで、顧客からの信頼を取り戻すことができるだろう。」明日香壽川東北大学 東北アジア研究センター・同大学院環境科学研究科教授

同写真コンテストは現在開催中で、コンテストのウェブサイト から応募することができます。応募の締め切りは、2月28日 23:59(日本時間)です。


Action Speaks Louderについて


Cameras Don’t Lie写真コンテスト: 



Transition Asia レポート

Coinciding with annual Canon shareholder meeting, the winning climate change-themed image will be displayed in Times Square, New York City, to pressure camera company into public response

Wednesday 15 February 2023: ​​A global climate change-themed photography competition has launched to raise awareness of the climate denial being spread by Japanese technology company Canon’s think tank, the Canon Institute for Global Studies (CIGS).

Climate-concerned photographers and corporate accountability group Action Speaks Louder are launching the competition with the tagline #CamerasDontLie. This is in response to Canon think tank’s research director ​​Taishi Sugiyama — who has sat on influential Japanese government task forces — labelling the climate crisis as ‘fake news’ and publishing books questioning climate science, including one targeted at Japanese school children.

The CIGS’ comments align with Canon’s failure to commit to clean energy. Canon has only committed to a 4.85% renewable energy target, while its peers such as Sony, Ricoh, Fujifilm, Nikon and Panasonic have committed to 100% renewable electricity. A Transition Asia report from late 2022 also revealed Canon has effectively halved its emissions reduction target.

The photography competition is open to the general public; it features an international judging panel consisting of influential photographers, artists and activists such as Celina Chien, Hisham Akira Bharoocha, Naoki Ishikawa and more. The winning #CamerasDontLie image will be displayed as advertising in Times Square, New York City, ahead of Canon’s annual shareholder meeting in late March 2023.

Action Speaks Louder is calling on Canon to issue a public statement that it in no way endorses the anti-science and pro-fossil fuel views of CIGS. The group is also demanding Canon commit to 100% renewable electricity and advocate for the rapid energy transition in Japan.

“Canon is one of the world’s most influential brands and has the capacity to catalyse real climate action. But the reality of Canon’s promotion of climate denial coupled with its appalling record on clean energy would shock its customers. This competition aims to harness the creativity of photographers around the world to challenge Canon to be the sustainable company it markets itself as.” Action Speaks Louder, Executive Director, James Lorenz

“Supporting an institution linked to climate change denial and the spread of inaccurate information regarding climate science is tantamount to sabotaging our collective habitable future on this planet. Canon has an enormous responsibility as a company in its own operations and as a global brand. Does Canon want its legacy to be on the wrong side of history? Stop supporting environmental misinformation and be the medium of change-making storytelling.” Cameras Don’t Lie judge and award-winning photojournalist and actor, Celina Chien

“A significant portion of ‘what appears to be a scientific controversy’ over the climate crisis is intended to delay action. A company that aims for a sustainable future should keep a distance from such a manufactured controversy, which would undermine its core value.” Seita Emori, Professor, Institute for Future Initiatives, the University of Tokyo/Senior Principal Researcher,  National Institute for Environmental Studies 

“Canon is putting its reputation at risk by allowing Sugiyama’s misinformation. They can regain trust from their customers by stopping him.” Jusen Asuka, Professor, Graduate School of Environmental Studies, Tohoku University

The photography competition is live, and entries can be submitted via the competition page The deadline for entries is 23:59 on 28th February Japan Standard Time.


About Action Speaks Louder

Action Speaks Louder holds big companies accountable for their climate change promises. Scientists agree the climate crisis is hurting us now, not just tomorrow. Burning fossil fuels is causing this crisis.

From extreme weather to food shortages and deaths from air pollution, the impacts of global warming on our health and the planet are devastating. Our future and our children’s future are at stake. Every action we take now to cut the use of fossil fuels makes a difference.

Most big companies are already promising to stop causing climate change. That’s because ‘sustainability’ is a popular selling point for their customers, staff and investors. But the gap between what they say and what they do is often vast. At Action Speaks Louder, our campaigners identify the companies which can make the greatest impact. When these companies stop using fossil fuels and stop blocking the transition to clean energy, the payoff spans the planet.


Competition page: 



Transition Asia Reports

Tuesday 29 November, 2022: Corporate accountability group Action Speaks Louder is calling on Canon Inc to clarify reports indicating it has cut its emission target by more than 50%.

The demand comes in the wake of an analysis by Transition Asia revealing Canon’s new 2030 emissions reduction target has been lowered from its original 50% commitment, to approximately 23% comparative emissions reduction. 

“Canon needs to urgently clarify whether it is trying to retreat from its climate policy,” said Action Speaks Louder Executive Director James Lorenz.

Such a policy reverse would be almost unprecedented in a corporate world which continues to ratchet up climate ambition. It would be a slap in the face to Canon’s staff, investors and customers which have bought into the company’s promise of environmental leadership. 

The decision would put Canon at odds with the vast majority of the business world which continues to increase climate ambition to match consumer expectation, and also to take advantage of the decreasing cost of renewable energy. Fujifilm retains a 2030 emission reduction target of 50%, with Kyocera at 46% – double that of Canon.

In addition, in February this year, Action Speaks Louder revealed Canon’s think tank, The Canon Institute for Global Studies, is a platform for climate denial, with one Research Director, Taishi Sugiyama labeling the climate emergency ‘fake news’ and accusing Greta Thunberg of communism.

Moreover, Canon’s leadership has come under fire from investors on other issues such as diversity. At its 2022 AGM, 25% of shareholders, including the world’s largest asset manager Blackrock, voted against the re-election of Canon CEO Fujio Mitarai – a revolt almost unheard of in the corporate landscape in Japan. As a rationale for its vote against Mr Mitarai, BMO Asset Management stated, ‘the Board lacks sufficient diversity to meet our expectations.” 

“Canon’s leadership is drawing attention to itself for all the wrong reasons. In order to avoid a further erosion of its credibility, Canon must live up to the standards it purports to set for itself and maintain a climate target based on science rather than fiction,” said Lorenz.

Action Speaks Louder is calling on Canon Inc to:

  • End its support for climate denial through the Canon Institute for Global Studies;
  • Commit to 2030 absolute emissions reduction target that is at least equivalent to 45% from 2010 (excluding offsets);
  • Commit to 100% renewable energy with at least 60% RE by 2030 and secure captive and PPA;
  • Develop and implement a 1.5°C-aligned climate policy engagement plan that includes active engagement on key 1.5°C-relevant regulation and RE policy, especially in Japan.

For more information contact James Lorenz at or +61 (0) 400 376 021

The first studies linking fossil fuels to global warming are over 120 years old. The fossil fuel lobby became well aware of the scale of the problem 50 years ago. Fast-forward to today, when we are in the midst of a climate crisis, not only do fossil fuels remain a mainstay in the global energy mix, but their share is growing along with renewable energy in the Philippines.

Despite the increased frequency and severity of floods, droughts, heatwaves, storms and marine life degradation – climate science is still being ignored. The Philippines is a prime example of how one of the most vulnerable countries to climate change impacts, is also one that continues to build its economy around fossil fuels.

Environmental issues plaguing the Philippines

Over 500,000 tons of plastic waste wash out through Manilla Bay every year. Furthermore, big brands have an ongoing practice of dumping and burning plastic waste in the country.

Between 2001 and 2021, the Philippines lost 1.34Mha of tree cover, or about a 7.2% decrease in tree cover since 2000. It is among the countries that have seen the biggest deforestation in the past 40 years.

These environmental crises alone are enough to touch the nerve of young Filipinos, who are witnessing their country’s environment crumble from the front row.

However, on top of plastic pollution and deforestation, the Philippines is now facing what could be a potential existential climate crisis. Companies like San Miguel Corporation (SMC), enabled by local government policies, are further exacerbating the situation through massive LNG expansion projects.

Philippines LNG expansion plans – adding fuel to the climate change fire

The Philippines’ Climate Change Commission says it “acknowledges the need for climate justice.” It warns that climate change is “eroding hard-earned socio-economic gains” and estimates that it will cause a 6% annual GDP loss by 2100. Yet, the country considers natural gas, an extremely potent polluter, as a way out of its growing energy crisis. In reality, the fossil fuel is similar to a wrecking ball, rapidly swinging toward the country’s economy and environment.

By 2040, LNG will account for 40% of the country’s energy mix, up from 22% in 2020. The Philippines has the second-largest planned gas expansion in Southeast Asia, with 29.9 GW in development, including 27 gas power plants and 9 LNG terminals.

But the planned expansion could become a financial suicide – one that future generations will have to bear the brunt of. The new gas capacity poses a USD 14 billion risk in stranded assets, while just 29% of the new gas projects in the country are viable. It is also a guaranteed way to ensure a future of energy instability, unreliable supplies and geopolitical risk – as seen in Europe, in light of the Russia-Ukraine war. The volatile prices of natural gas on global markets will not help the Philippines, home to some of the highest electricity prices in Southeast Asia.

However, all these risks start fading away once we shine the spotlight on what LNG expansion projects can do to the climate and environment.

The Philippines is bouncing between the first and fourth position among the most vulnerable countries to climate change. Between 2000 and 2019, it experienced 317 weather-related events, the highest result globally. Greenpeace notes that it will only worsen, as global temperatures continue to rise.

Global Climate Risk Map Ranking from 2000 to 2019, Source - Germanwatch

Global Climate Risk Map Ranking from 2000 to 2019, Source: Germanwatch

Filipinos’ livelihoods, quality of life and health at threat

The Philippines is at risk of unprecedented compound extreme events where multiple disasters coincide or occur one after another, increasing in severity. One potential example is heatwaves during a drought that can amplify the risk of forest fires, agricultural damages and biodiversity losses. Ecosystems on approximately 1 million hectares of grasslands in the Philippines are highly vulnerable to climate change. Farming is also at risk, with grain yields constantly decreasing. For example, the El Niño-associated drought during 2015–2016 affected over 413,000 Filipino farmers and sparked violent protests.

The Philippines is the 8th biggest fishing nation globally, with a yearly haul of about USD 2.5 billion. However, according to the Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change (IPCC), by the
2051–2060 period, the maximum fish catch in the country will decrease by as much as 50% compared to that of 2001–2010. Due to rising sea surface temperatures, the Philippines is at risk of a 9% decline in fisheries GDP.

Similar to heatwaves in other countries, rising temperatures will also impact working hours and productivity in the Philippines. Such events also risk unfolding a boom in diseases, including dengue, typhoid, malaria and cholera – a situation that the Philippines has experienced in the past.

According to a study by the World Resources Institute, the country is also likely to experience a “high degree” of water shortage by 2040.

Water Stress by Country 2040, Source - World Resource Institute

Water Stress by Country: 2040, Source: World Resources Institute

Coastal areas and marine life damaged 

Sea level rise in the Philippines is faster than the global average. Since 1901, it has risen 60 cm or over three times the global average of 19 cm, putting 64 coastal provinces and 13.6 million Filipinos at risk. Manila Bay is one of the most affected areas, with an 80 cm sea level rise from 1947 to 2012. Without additional climate action, it will rise by a further 50 cm by 2050 and
1.33 m by 2100.

Projected Sea Level Under Climate Central's Worst-Case Scenario, Source - Climate Central

Projected Sea Level Under Climate Central’s Worst-Case Scenario, Source: Climate Central

The rising sea level risks inducing higher storm surges caused by intense typhoons that, given the country’s archipelagic structure, can be devastating to coastal communities and their livelihoods. Furthermore, it can cause coastal erosion, shoreline retreat, wetland flooding, saltwater intrusion and habitat loss for fish, birds and plants.

In addition, climate change is projected to kill 98% of the corals in Southeast Asia by 2050. Between 2009 and 2010, El Niño caused a colossal bleaching event that killed up to 95% of corals in the Philippines.

San Miguel Corporation – the engine behind fossil fuel expansion in the Philippines and region

SMC Global Power, the power unit of SMC, has over 14 GW gas projects in the pipeline in Batangas, Negros Occidental, Metro Manila, Zamboanga and Leyte. Most of them are in coastal areas, including in Verde Island Passage – an area providing food to over 2 million people and a center of global shore-fish biodiversity, home to 60% of all known shore fish species and 400 coral species.

Location of Existing and Proposed Fossil Gas Plans and LNG Terminals Along the Coast and In the Waters of Batangas Bay, Source: CEED

Location of Existing and Proposed Fossil Gas Plans and LNG Terminals Along the Coast and In the Waters of Batangas Bay, Source: CEED Philippines

Scientific studies reveal that LNG projects in such areas pose various threats to marine life and the environment. The projects further disturb the already dwindling coral cover, contaminate soil and water with toxic metals and make the affected areas unfit for fishing, while damaging marine life and more. Proofs of such implications already exist in waters around existing LNG plants in the coastal regions of the Philippines.

Top Post-Paris Developers of Gas-Fired Power Plants in Southeast Asia by Capacity, Source - CEED Philippines

Top Post-Paris Developers of Gas-Fired Power Plants in Southeast Asia by Capacity, Source: CEED Philippines

Over the years, SMC has mastered the art of public deception by aggressively pushing an agenda that it is acting in the best interest of Filipinos. A prime example is its focus on sustainability, reflected also in its slogan – “Sustaining the Filipino.” Southeast Asia’s biggest fossil gas plant developer has also labeled itself as “sustainability champions” and asserts that it has “gone well beyond mitigating the problems of climate change.” The company claims its core value is “malasakit” which it describes as a “unique Filipino value of helping others without being prodded and without expecting anything in return.” It even claims to be doing better for the environment by “taking direct action to help” the cities, waters and forests in the Philippines.

Filipinos rise up – the fight against fossil fuel expansion

SMC proudly states that it builds a better world by creating a better future for the next generation.” However, instead of making such bold claims, it would be better to let young Filipinos be the judge of that. Because, clearly, they have something to say.

Youth organizations and climate communities from all over the Philippines, including San Carlos and Negros, are already opposing LNG projects. Earlier this year, fisherfolk communities, organizations and environmentalists in Batangas conducted a fluvial demonstration, protesting against the risks the LNG projects in Verde Island Passage pose to marine life and livelihoods.

SMC states that it is always first to respond during times of crisis.” While this is admirable, a significantly better approach would be to not fuel the crisis in the first place – something that should come naturally to “sustainability champions.”