Dragon Deborah Meaden goes green

The Carbon Trust Standard is a green stamp of approval. It proves that a company has genuinely reduced its carbon footprint and is committed to tackling climate change.

So what made Meaden sign up to the cause? “I’ll tell you why I accepted the invitation to launch the Carbon Trust Standard. I’ve been filming in the Den for five days. Half of the entrepreneurs that came to pitch told me their product was ‘environmentally friendly’. When I asked them why, they came out with these wishy washy answers.

“It’s wrong for businesses to make false claims. There’s a Fairtrade stamp. There’s an Organic stamp. Up until now, there hasn’t been a Carbon Footprint stamp – and I find that staggering.”

Companies that want to show off their green credentials need to fill out a four-stage application form and be independently assessed.

“It’s a rigorous process,” says Meaden. “The bar is high. You can’t just apply for it, pay your money and that’s it. To be certified, you have to reduce your emissions year on year.”

Twelve companies have already passed the green test, including Trinity Mirror, B&Q and Morrisons. Meaden says application fees start at £1,000.

So is this just aimed at the big boys? “No way”, she says. “Whether you’re ethical or not, whether you’re big or small, rocketing fuel prices mean all businesses should be reviewing their carbon emissions.

“Carbon emissions mean you’re burning fuel. Burning fuel means you’re spending money. This isn’t just a soft issue. This is a serious business issue.”

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