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No more "greenwashing". EU Parliament bans unverified green claims

Updated: Jun 5, 2023

The European Parliament approved the implementation of new rules forcing companies to substantiate and verify their environmental claims and labeling in order to protect consumers from greenwashing.

What to expect next?

Banning misleading ads and generic environmental claims

The authorised negotiating mandate of the Parliament includes a prohibition on the use of broad environmental claims such as "environmentally friendly", "natural", "biodegradable", "climate neutral", or "eco" in the absence of specific evidence. It also intends to prohibit environmental claims that are entirely dependent on carbon offset schemes. Other deceptive techniques will be prohibited, such as making claims about the entire product when the claim is only true for one element of it, or claiming that a product will last a specific amount of time or may be used at a given degree of intensity when it is not true.

MEPs propose that only sustainability labels based on formal certification schemes or created by public agencies be used to simplify product information.

Fight against early obsolescence

To make products endure longer, the Parliament seeks to prohibit the adoption of design characteristics that limit the life of a product or cause it to malfunction early. Furthermore, manufacturers should not be allowed to restrict a product's functioning when utilised with consumables, replacement parts, or accessories manufactured by other companies.

Buyers would need to be notified of any repair restrictions before purchasing to enable customers to choose more durable and repairable goods. MEPs also proposed a new guarantee label that indicates not just the term of the legally mandated guarantee, but also any possible guarantee extensions granted by companies. This would assist to spotlight high-quality goods and encourage businesses to prioritise durability.

What can your business do in order to become more sustainable?

  • Conduct internal audits, review and revise environmental claims

  • Adhere to validated certification schemes

  • Avoid ambiguous and false claims

  • Be transparent on product durability, repairs, and guarantees

  • Avoid incorporating features that intentionally limit the products' life

  • Engage with certified suppliers

  • Educate stakeholders and employees

For more information visit the European Parliament website.

Reach out to if you want to gain insight into your policy standing, build consumer trust, and contribute to more sustainable markets.

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