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EU proposes new rules to combat greenwashing

March 23, 2023

The European Commission has proposed the Green Claims Directive to establish minimum norms for companies making “green claims” and prevent misleading marketing practices known as greenwashing.

The European Commission has proposed new rules to combat “greenwashing,” the misleading marketing practice of presenting products as environmentally friendly when they are not. The proposed Green Claims Directive will establish minimum norms for companies making “green claims,” requiring them to substantiate and communicate these claims in a verifiable and comparable manner.

The proposal aims to create a level playing field for companies that genuinely improve their products’ environmental sustainability, prevent unfair competition, and provide consumers with reliable information to make informed choices. The proposal covers all voluntary claims about environmental impacts, aspects, or performance of a product, service, or the trader itself.

However, it excludes claims covered by existing EU rules and upcoming regulatory rules. Companies must independently verify and prove their claims with scientific evidence before communicating them to consumers. Additionally, the proposal regulates environmental labels, with new public labelling schemes only allowed if developed at the EU level and new private schemes needing pre-approval.

“While not yet law, remanufacturers and resellers of toner and inkjet consumables should take the necessary steps to verify the accuracy of their green claims. This includes regularly reviewing their processes and supply chains to ensure that they are using environmentally sustainable materials, production processes, and shipping methods. To foster trust and build credibility with their customers, it is crucial for businesses to be transparent and publish this information on their website or through other channels.” – David Connett, Partner at Connett & Unland GbR.

The EU has a Q&A page about the Green Claims Directive here.

The proposal complements the March 2022 proposal on “empowering consumers for the green transition” and is part of the European Green Deal. The United Kingdom and Australia have taken similar actions against greenwashing, reflecting growing global concern about climate change and environmental degradation.

The proposal will now be subject to approval by the European Parliament and Council.

Categories : World Focus

Tags : Business EU Green Claims Directive Greenwashing

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