Lululemon Faces Investigation Over Environmental Marketing Claims

Lululemon Faces Investigation Over Environmental Marketing Claims


Canada's Competition Bureau has opened a formal investigation into whether athletic apparel company Lululemon engaged in deceptive marketing practices related to environmental claims in its advertising campaigns.

The investigation comes after an Ottawa-based environmental non-profit group filed a complaint in February accusing Lululemon of greenwashing. Greenwashing refers to companies misleading the public about their environmental practices or sustainability benefits.

At the center of the complaint is Lululemon's 2020 "Be Planet" sustainability marketing campaign where the company stated it would work to reduce greenhouse gas emissions. However, alleges this is contradicted by Lululemon's own 2022 impact report showing its Scope 3 emissions, which include those from customers using its products, increased significantly from 2020 to 2022.

"We would like to create a win-win solution with Lululemon to see them really target and eliminate the climate pollution in their supply chain," said Todd Paglia,'s executive director. "If they did, we would drop our complaint. This is about results, not about trying to punish Lululemon."

The Competition Bureau's investigation, which is still in early stages, will examine whether Lululemon's environmental marketing claims violated rules around deceptive practices under the Competition Act. There has been no conclusion of wrongdoing yet.

In a statement, Lululemon said it is cooperating with the Competition Bureau and is "confident" the review will confirm the accuracy of its public environmental claims and statements.

"We are committed to our decarbonization plan, with the aim of meeting our 2030 climate targets and achieving net-zero emissions by 2050," the company said.

Environmental and legal experts say the case could serve as an important test of Canada's laws and enforcement around greenwashing claims by companies. While there are rules prohibiting deceptive marketing, there is no specific legal obligation for firms to back up voluntary environmental pledges.

Some Lululemon customers expressed disappointment at the allegations but said they will likely continue shopping at the popular brand regardless of the investigation's outcome.

The Competition Bureau's probe underscores rising scrutiny around sustainability claims as consumers and activists grow more conscientious about corporate greenwashing amid climate change concerns. Companies making ambitious environmental promises could face greater legal and reputational risks if they fail to substantiate their claims.

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