In recent years we have seen the urgency for transparent sustainability communication increase. Governments, consumer organizations and action groups are all making themselves heard in order to further ban greenwashing and the use of misleading green claims in marketing and advertising.
The ‘Empowering Consumers in the Green Transition Initiative’, announced on March 30, is an important step forward. The initiative, which is expected to be discussed and implemented by the European Council and Parliament at the end of May, proposes a revision of European consumer law. When purchasing a product or service, consumers will soon have the official right to obtain accurate, relevant, and reliable sustainability-related product information. There will also be minimum requirements for sustainability labels, logos, and other communication methods.
Another legislative proposal that is expected to have a significant impact on the way sustainability is communicated is the Legislative Proposal on Substantiating Green Claims. With over 200 active eco-labels in the EU and more than 450 worldwide, the call for a unified universal standard is getting louder. At the end of 2021, the EC adopted a revised recommendation requiring organizations to start substantiating their claims using the standardized EU methodology: the Product Environmental Footprint (PEF). Want to know more about what this will mean for your organization and by when? Don’t hesitate to reach out to us.
Not only the EU is pushing for more transparent and substantiated sustainability communication. Regulators such as the ACM, the British counterpart CMA, the ASA and the (Dutch) Advertising Code Committee, are doing their utmost to nip misleading green claims in the bud. CMA recently created the Green Claims Code, which allows companies to check for themselves whether the claims they make are genuine and not misleading. The ACM also came up with guidelines to help companies with creating fair sustainability communication.