New EU directive to prevent manipulative green marketing

On 22nd of March 2023, European Commission presented the adopted directive against manipulative green marketing, which refers to consumer protection. The Green Claims Directive (GCD) aims to provide transparent communication to consumers when it comes to environmental claims on products.

The Green Claims Directive guarantees that consumers won’t be misled when it comes to the environmental characteristics listed on the product, however will know with certainty that the label “green” really means “green”. In parallel, the Directive will have a strong impact on companies, as their products will become more competitive and attractive to consumers.

Furthermore, according to the same proposal, companies will have to independently verify their environmental claims and submit scientific evidence as relevant. Their statements and labels will be verified by an independent and accredited body.

The proposal also includes the regulation of environmental labels. According to the Commission, there are currently a minimum of 230 different labels and there is evidence that they lead to consumer confusion and mistrust. In the future, only labels developed at EU level will be allowed, which will also approve labels.

The proposal for the Green Claims Directive was made as an addition to the proposal on consumer empowerment for the green transition, published on March 30th 2022, which already includes additional specific rules on environmental claims and the prohibition of misleading advertising. This earlier proposal is also part of the Commission’s commitment to the European Green Deal.

The adopted proposal for the Green Claims Directive will now be submitted for approval to the European Parliament and the Council through the regular legislative procedure.

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