European Commission unveils green claims rules to prevent consumer greenwashing


The European Commission has unveiled a new directive that will require companies to verify their environmental claims and labels.

According to ESG Today, the ‘Directive on Green Claims’ will require firms to substantiate and verify their environmental claims and labels to protect consumers from greenwashing.

In a statement, the Commission said that the proposal will provide consumers with more clarity as well as strong reassurance of the green credentials of environmentally-friendly products and services.

The Commission added that the new rules address a need for reliable and verifiable information for consumers, in light of a recent study by the organisation that found more than half of green claims by businesses in the EU were vague or misleading.

Frans Timmermans – EVP for the European Green Deal – said, “Green claims are everywhere: ocean-friendly t-shirts, carbon-neutral bananas, bee-friendly juices, 100% CO2-compensated deliveries and so on. Unfortunately, way too often these claims are made with no evidence and justification whatsoever. This opens the door to greenwashing and puts companies making genuinely sustainable products at a disadvantage.”

The new rules have put forward minimum requirements for companies to substantiate, communicate and verify their green claims. The proposals will require firms to ensure the reliability of their voluntary environmental claims, which will need to be independently verified and proven with scientific evidence.

Companies will be required to identify environmental impacts relevant to their products, and also to identify any possible trade-offs.

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