Consumers are increasingly inundated with green advertising claims: “recyclable packaging”, “produced in a bee-friendly manner”, “climate-neutral production” or “from responsible sources” – these are just some of the numerous claims adorning an increasing number of food products, electrical devices, textile products and even services. These green claims appear in the form of both direct claims with a clear promotional purpose and, increasingly, as labels.
Consumers cannot identify what is behind the claims. Is the company communicating a real commitment to a more sustainable and climate-friendly production method? Or is it simply exploiting the fact that sustainability-related green claims are hardly regulated at present and – unlike health-related advertising claims, for example – can be used without providing evidence of the claims’ accuracy?
The lack of regulation in terms of sustainability and green claims opens the door for greenwashing. vzbv thus calls for stricter regulations for green claims.
- Binding, legally defined criteria to substantiate green claims
- Regulation of the conditions under which green claims are permissible
- A ban on advertising that claims “climate neutrality”
- Verification of green claims and labels by independent third parties
Source: Gert Baumbach - vzbvJochen GeilenkirchenPolicy Officer Sustainable Consumption
A consumer landscape in which almost all products are advertised as having green features makes it impossible for consumers to differentiate between sustainable and non-sustainable products.