Big news from the EU that will affect all companies doing business in the EU:
Last week, after months of negotiating, the EU adopted a ruling that will protect consumers from greenwashing and helps to make better informed purchasing choices by banning the use of misleading environmental claims.
The Directive on Empowering Consumers for the Green Transition (ECGT) proposes that terms such as “environmentally friendly”, “natural”, “biodegradable”, “climate neutral” or “eco” can no longer be used in advertising or packaging without concrete evidence. Additionally, it bans the use of carbon offsetting schemes to substantiate claims of 'climate neutrality', 'reduced impact' or 'climate positive impact'.
The only acceptable sustainability claims are those that are based on official certification schemes. The new law applies to all industries and companies selling goods and services in the EU; companies with revenues <2M are exempt. For more detail, you can read the full text of the directive here.
EU member states will have two years to introduce the new directive, however, we recommend you don't wait until 2026 to take action. If the directive applies to your company, make sure your product claims are in line with it as soon as possible so you won't need to play catch-up later.
Check your labels. Graphic source: Just Style, 2023