Consumer protection: enabling sustainable choices and ending greenwashing

Consumer protection: enabling sustainable choices and ending greenwashing. Image: European Commission

The European Commission is proposing common criteria against greenwashing and misleading environmental claims.

Under the proposal, consumers will have more clarity, stronger reassurance that when something is sold as green, it actually is green, and better quality information to choose environment-friendly products and services.

Businesses will also benefit, as those that make a genuine effort to improve the environmental sustainability of their products will be more easily recognised and rewarded by consumers and able to boost their sales – rather than face unfair competition.

This way, the proposal will help establish a level playing field when it comes to information about the environmental performance of products.

A Commission study from 2020 highlighted that 53.3 per cent of examined environmental claims in the EU were found to be vague, misleading or unfounded and 40 per cent were unsubstantiated.

The absence of common rules for companies making voluntary green claims leads to ‘greenwashing’ and creates an uneven playing field in the EU’s market, to the disadvantage of genuinely sustainable companies.

According to the proposal, when companies choose to make a ‘green claim’ about their products or services, they will have to respect minimum norms on how they substantiate these claims and how they communicate them.

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Written by

Anna Ellis

Originally from the UK, Anna is based on the Costa Blanca and is a web reporter for The Euro Weekly News covering international and Spanish national news. Got a news story you want to share? Then get in touch at