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Wed May 18 2022

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NEC takes fight to greenwashing

24 Mar NEC, publisher of the New Engineering Contract suite of contract forms, is taking action to combat the rise of bogus eco claims – greenwashing – among industry marketers.

The X29 secondary option clause to the NEC4 suite of contracts can be used to support, incentivise and tangibly demonstrate carbon reduction initiatives on future builds across the sector.

The Competition & Markets Authority last year published the Green Claims Code after finding that 40% of green claims made online could be misleading.

Greenwashing can come in the form of long-term commitments made by businesses to achieve net neutrality, but announcements often lack tangible commitments, and the sector has seen a rise in unsubstantiated and questionable net-zero carbon claims, NEC says.

NEC hopes that the adoption of the new secondary option clause update – to be published this month as a consultative version – will enable tangible sustainability and net-zero commitments between clients and suppliers.

NEC4 contract board member Ian Heaphy explained: “Although the industry is already doing a lot, we feel a contract approach can help to formalise standards within the industry and create a level playing field for greater accountability. The new secondary option will enable the incentivisation of net-zero and make it a legal obligation for parties to deliver impact.”

Ian Heaphy and Pinsent Masons solicitor Stacey Collins will host a webinar in April to explain and discuss the secondary option consultation. For more information or to sign up, see:

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