Regulation

Navigating the Green Claims Code: Ensuring Authentic Sustainability with ettos

In an era of heightened environmental awareness and conscious consumerism, the term “green” has become a powerful marketing tool. Yet, the allure of eco-friendly claims has also given rise to a concerning trend known as “greenwashing”. To tackle this issue head-on, the UK’s Competition and Markets Authority (CMA) introduced the Green Claims Code. This seismic shift in marketing regulations underscores the need for brands to substantiate their green claims with concrete evidence.

The Green Claims Code: An Overview

The Green Claims Code, enacted from September 20, 2021, seeks to combat greenwashing in the UK —a practice where brands make misleading claims about the environmental friendliness of their products. These claims, often portrayed through logos, advertising, or branding, can lead consumers to believe a product is more sustainable than it truly is. The CMA’s new code is designed to ensure that all environmental claims are properly substantiated and do not mislead consumers.

Code Application and Rigorous Requirements

The scope of the Green Claims Code is far-reaching. It applies to advertising, products, or services targeted at or supplied to UK consumers, regardless of whether the business is UK-based or international. The code’s requirements are robust and comprehensive, demanding that claims are supported by data, transparent, and account for a product’s entire lifecycle—from production to disposal.
The implications of non-compliance with the code are significant. Any shortcomings in substantiating claims could lead to actions by the regulator for misleading consumers, which could entail fines or even imprisonment for officers of companies making unsubstantiated environmental claims.

Compliance with the Green Claims Code: What Businesses Need to Do

Businesses venturing into environmental claims, whether they are already doing so or contemplating such action, must navigate this landscape with utmost care and responsibility. First and foremost, they must adhere to any sector- or product-specific laws that pertain to their products and services. Equally important is familiarising themselves with the CMA guidelines presented below and ensuring compliance with their obligations under consumer protection laws.

As per the CMA’s guideline checklist, when making a green claim, a business should be able to answer ‘yes’ or agree to each of the following statements:

  1. The claim is accurate and clear for all to understand.
  2. There’s up-to-date, credible evidence to show that the green claim is true.
  3. The claim clearly tells the whole story of a product or service; or relates to one part of the product or service without misleading people about the other parts or the overall impact on the environment.
  4. The claim doesn’t contain partially correct or incorrect aspects or conditions that apply.
  5. Where general claims (eco-friendly, green or sustainable for example) are being made, the claim reflects the whole life cycle of the brand, product, business or service and is justified by the evidence.
  6. If conditions (or caveats) apply to the claim, they’re clearly set out and can be understood by all.
  7. The claim won’t mislead customers or other suppliers.
  8. The claim doesn’t exaggerate its positive environmental impact, or contain anything untrue – whether clearly stated or implied.
  9. Durability or disposability information is clearly explained and labelled.
  10. The claim doesn’t miss out or hide information about the environmental impact that people need to make informed choices.
  11. Information that really can’t fit into the claim can be easily accessed by customers in another way (QR code, website, etc.).
  12. Features or benefits that are necessary standard features or legal requirements of that product or service type, aren’t claimed as environmental benefits.
  13. If a comparison is being used, the basis of it is fair and accurate, and is clear for all to understand.

It is imperative that businesses assess their practices thoroughly and be prepared to implement necessary changes. This may involve discontinuing the dissemination of false or misleading statements, revising claims to align with compliance standards, ensuring the availability of substantiating evidence for claims, and providing consumers with the requisite information to make informed choices.

Aligning with the Code by using ettos:

In a landscape where authenticity is paramount, ettos offers a reliable solution for brands aiming to adhere to the Green Claims Code. The platform’s core principles align seamlessly with the code’s requirements:

  1. Clear, Accurate Claims: ettos enables brands to create accurate and clear claims that reflect the true environmental impact of their products.
  2. Verified Evidence: The platform provides a secure space to store and share up-to-date, credible evidence that substantiates environmental claims.
  3. Holistic Impact Representation: ettos showcases the entire lifecycle of products, ensuring that claims provide a complete picture and are not misleading.
  4. Transparent Communication: ettos empowers brands to communicate transparently, ensuring that customers and stakeholders have all the information they need to make informed decisions.

As the fashion industry steps into a new era of responsible consumerism, the Green Claims Code serves as a beacon of authenticity. It challenges brands to back their environmental claims with data, ensuring that consumers receive accurate information. ettos, with its revolutionary platform, emerges as a pivotal partner in this journey. By providing brands with the tools to substantiate their green claims and foster genuine sustainability, ettos aligns seamlessly with the essence of the Green Claims Code. The code, while posing challenges, offers an opportunity for the industry to elevate transparency, build consumer trust, and contribute to a greener future—ideals that ettos embodies wholeheartedly.

Discover the power of authenticity with ettos, where every claim is a testament to genuine sustainability.

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