CO2-compensated, climate neutral, sustainable – consumers are inundated with products that make unregulated advertising claims about their environmental performance. It is almost impossible to make certain that these green claims are true. The European Commission took an official stance on green claims on 22 March 2023, defining criteria for their future use. Ramona Pop, Executive Director of the Federation of German Consumer Organisations (Verbraucherzentrale Bundesverband – vzbv), says the following:
We are glad to see that the European Commission finally wants to put a stop to greenwashing. For far too long consumers have been misled by claims about supposedly environmentally friendly products.
Greenwashing not only deceives consumers, it is also detrimental the environment and climate: After all, when harmful products are simply given a green gloss there is no incentive to change production methods. Better regulation protects consumers and helps the environment and climate. It is essential to completely ban misleading claims such as “carbon neutral” or “climate positive” in the future.
It is also important that the rules apply to all product groups, from baby food to washing lotions. All manufacturers must take consumer and environmental protection seriously.
It is now vital to quickly pass European legislation before the next European elections and then implement it in all member states.