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Keeping you in-the-know on environmental, social and governance developments

The EU took a major step to cut down on greenwashing as the European Council adopted the Directive to Empower Consumers for the Green Transition. The Directive will ban certain generic environmental claims and introduce a limitation on claims based on carbon offsetting practices. The Directive now only needs to be signed and published in the EU’s Official Journal, then member states will have two years to transpose the directive into national law. ESG Today wrote about the recent adoption stating:

“A recent study by the Commission found that more than half of green claims by companies in the EU were vague or misleading, and 40% were completely unsubstantiated. Key aspects of the new directive include rules aimed at making product labels clearer by banning the use of generic environmental claims not backed up with proof, and the regulation of sustainability labels to allow only the use of those based on official certification schemes or established by public authorities.”

The article goes on to say that the Directive also requires companies to make information related to product durability more visible and mandates that companies use new harmonized labels to display durability information.

This isn’t the EU’s only upcoming legislation aimed at combatting greenwashing. The EU’s Green Claims Directive and Ecodesign Regulation are both still in development and will complement the Directive to Empower Consumers for the Green Transition once implemented. These laws will fundamentally change the way sustainability marketing works in the EU. Any companies marketing products in the EU should carefully follow the laws’ development and ensure compliance with new labeling requirements.

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The Editor

Zachary Barlow is a licensed attorney. He earned his JD from the University of Mississippi and has a bachelor’s in Public Policy Leadership. He practiced law at a mid-size firm and handled a wide variety of cases. During this time he assisted in overseeing compliance of a public entity and litigated contract disputes, gaining experience both in and outside of the courtroom. Zachary currently assists the editorial team by providing research and creating content on a spectrum of ESG… View Profile