The Competition and Markets Authority (CMA) has published a Green Claims Code, to help businesses avoid making illegal and misleading environmental claims. Companies have until January 2022 to comply with the code and make sure their green credentials are communicated accurately.
The code was developed following extensive consultation with consumer groups and businesses of all sizes, and focuses on six key principles. Claims of environmental friendliness must:
- Be truthful
- Be clear
- Not leave out important information
- Only make fair comparisons
- Consider the full life cycle of the product
- Be supported with evidence
The CMA will start reviewing misleading claims in 2022 and will take action against firms that breach the code. It will prioritise sectors where consumers are most concerned about misleading claims, which are likely to be fashion, travel, food and drink, beauty products and cleaning products.
Andrea Coscelli, chief executive of the CMA, said: “The Green Claims Code has been written for all businesses – from fashion giants and supermarket chains to local shops. More people than ever are considering the environmental impact of a product before parting with their hard-earned money. We’re concerned that too many businesses are falsely taking credit for being green, while genuinely eco-friendly firms don’t get the recognition they deserve.”
There is more information, including a video, on the Green Claims Code website. You can also test your understanding of the code with this quick quiz. If you’re not sure whether your business claims comply, you should seek legal advice as soon as possible.
For more resources to help local businesses reduce their environmental impact, visit our Going Greener page.