New York sues JBS for consumer greenwashing


New York is suing JBS, the world's biggest meat company and owner of Huon Aquaculture, for misleading customers about its climate commitments. Letitia James's lawsuit accuses JBS of deceiving customers about being climate-friendly – and the implications could be far-reaching, reports The Guardian.

The suit's impact has the potential to influence the approach all kinds of big businesses take in their advertising about sustainability, according to experts.

The attorney general has asserted that the JBS Group has made sweeping representations to consumers about its commitment to reducing its greenhouse gas emissions, claiming that it will be 'Net Zero by 2040.'" But those claims aren't grounded in reality, the complaint goes on to argue, not only because JBS isn't taking concrete steps toward those goals, but because as recently as September 2023, the CEO admitted in a public forum that the company didn't even know how to calculate all of its emissions. It follows that what can't be measured won't be mitigated.

Beef, of which JBS is the largest producer in the world, far outpaces not only plant-based food, but other animal sources of nutrition as well, when it comes to climate impacts, not even taking into account the slashing and burning of the Amazon to make room for more cattle, which JBS has been linked to.

"If JBS loses – and they're going to – I think it's already sending a signal to major companies that you cannot just say 'We're Paris [agreement]-aligned.' You cannot just say 'We're going to be net zero in 2030' when you have no plan, and the curve for your climate pollution is going straight up. You cannot keep lying like this." said Todd Paglia, executive director of environmental non-profit

Read the full Guardian report here