Not all green companies are really green

Not all green companies are really green
More and more companies market themselves as “green” and protecting the environment. However, a study by the European Commission and national consumer authorities focused on “greenwashing” found that companies claim they are doing more for the environment than they actually are. The study of websites included various business sectors such as garments, cosmetics and household equipment.

The report said in 42% of cases the claims were exaggerated, false or deceptive and could potentially qualify as unfair commercial practices under EU rules. National authorities will contact the companies concerned to point out the issues detected and to ensure that these are rectified where necessary.

“More and more people want to live a green life, and I applaud companies that strive to produce eco-friendly products or services. However, there are also unscrupulous traders out there, who pull the wool over consumers’ eyes with vague, false or exaggerated claims”, said Didier Reynders, Commissioner for Justice.



In more than half of 344 websites studied, the trader did not provide sufficient information for consumers to judge the claim’s accuracy.

In 37% of cases, the claim included vague and general statements such as “conscious”, “eco-friendly”, “sustainable” which aimed to convey the unsubstantiated impression to consumers that a product had no negative impact on the environment.

In 59% of cases the trader had not provided easily accessible evidence to support its claim.

In their overall assessments, taking various factors into account, in 42% of cases authorities had reason to believe that the claim may be false or deceptive and could therefore potentially amount to an unfair commercial practice under the Unfair Commercial Practices Directive, the Commission said.

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