'Green claims' directive: Protecting consumers from greenwashing

Briefing 05-10-2023

Consumers are faced with a wealth of claims on the 'green' nature of products. In the absence of specific EU rules, how can they be sure that these claims are reliable, comparable and verifiable throughout the EU? On 22 March 2023, the European Commission put forward a proposal for a directive on green claims. The proposed directive would require companies to substantiate the voluntary green claims they make in business-to-consumer commercial practices, by complying with a number of requirements regarding their assessment (e.g. taking a life-cycle perspective). No single method for the assessment would be stipulated. The proposal would also set requirements on how to communicate the claims and introduce rules on environmental labelling schemes. Compliance with these requirements would have to be verified and certified by a third party ('verifier'). The proposal is now in the hands of the co-legislators. In Parliament, the file was allocated jointly to the Committees on Internal Market and Consumer Protection (IMCO) and on Environment, Public Health and Food Safety (ENVI). First edition. The 'EU Legislation in Progress' briefings are updated at key stages throughout the legislative procedure.