As the spotlight on green recovery intensifies, businesses should ensure they can substantiate their sustainability claims before making public statements.
As Cornwall approaches the start of the G7 Summit, all eyes will firmly be on the key priorities around how we build back better and focus on a green recovery to tackle climate change and preserve the planet’s biodiversity. The G7 leaders have confirmed their commitment to a sustainable, resilient and inclusive recovery.
Businesses are seeing an increased demand for green products and services as a result of consumer pressure for transparency on sustainability. Environmental claims made by businesses may be misleading, vague or false ‘green’ claims as the market shifts towards a focus on sustainability and the desire to be ‘eco-friendly’.
Marketing the sustainability of products and services
The Competition and Markets Authority (the CMA) has launched a consultation into how products and services are marketed to consumers and has set out its views on the types of environmental claims made by businesses that could be misleading to the consumer and break the law.
Guidance for businesses from the CMA
Business should ensure that they can substantiate all sustainability claims with detailed evidence before making any statements to the consumer. The CMA has set out the following six principles in its proposed guidance:
- Be truthful and accurate: businesses must live up to the claim they make about their products, services, brands and activities;
- Be clear and unambiguous: the meaning that a consumer is likely to take from a product’s messaging and the credentials of that product should match;
- Not omit or hide important information: claims must not prevent someone from making an informed choice because of the information they leave out;
- Only make fair and meaningful comparisons: any products compared should meet the same needs or be intended for the same purpose;
- Consider the full life cycle of the product: when making claims, businesses must consider the total impact of a product or service. Claims can be misleading where they don’t reflect the overall impact of where they focus on one aspect of it but not another; and they must
- Be substantiated: businesses should be able to back up their claims with robust, credible and up to date evidence.
We would recommend businesses consider embedding green clauses and sustainability into their governance, key contracts and supply chains to ensure full transparency on any environmental claims made to the consumer as we move towards an inclusive green recovery.
If you would like to discuss green recovery and embedding sustainability or green clauses in to your business please get in touch below.