EU Unveils Stringent Rules to Combat Greenwashing 

The European Union (EU) has introduced new standards aimed at tackling greenwashing by implementing stringent rules to ensure the accuracy of environmental claims made by companies.

According to ESG News, the Internal Market and Environment committees have outlined regulations mandating companies to undergo a verification process for their environmental assertions before promoting them to the public.

These measures come in response to widespread deceptive environmental claims, with studies revealing that up to 50% of such assertions are misleading. Consequently, there is a growing demand from consumers and businesses for transparency and regulatory clarity in environmental marketing practices.

Andrus Ansip (Renew, EE), rapporteur for the Internal Market Committee, emphasised the necessity for transparency and legal clarity in environmental marketing. He stated, “Consumers and entrepreneurs deserve transparency, legal clarity, and equal conditions of competition. Traders are willing to pay for it, but not more than they gain from it.”

Under the new regulations, companies intending to make environmental claims must submit their assertions for scrutiny by accredited verifiers. These verifiers will assess the claims within a 30-day timeframe. Failure to comply with these regulations could lead to severe penalties, including exclusion from procurements, revenue confiscation, and fines amounting to at least 4% of the company’s annual turnover.

Moreover, the EU has streamlined the verification process for simpler and common types of environmental claims, aiming to facilitate smoother compliance for businesses.

Cyrus Engerer (S&D, MT), rapporteur for the Environment Committee, stressed the importance of combating greenwashing and ensuring genuine sustainability practices. He stated, “It is time to put an end to greenwashing. Our agreement on this text ends the proliferation of deceitful green claims which have tricked consumers for far too long.”

Engerer emphasised that businesses must provide scientifically verified green claims to meet the expectations of European consumers who seek environmental and sustainable choices.

Overall, the EU’s new regulations aim to curb greenwashing practices, promote transparency, and empower consumers and businesses to make informed decisions regarding environmental claims.

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