Greenwashing is the concept of making a product sound or seem to have less of a negative environmental impact than it actually does.
Greenwashing has become increasingly common over the last few years and has led to increasing confusion in the eye of the consumer as well as reducing the competitive value of products that have minimised environmental impact as a key focus.
Greenwashing is mostly not done out of malice, but due to a lack of understanding or confusion on the behalf of businesses regarding what claims they should (or should not) be making on the environmental performance of their products. The risk here is that as consumers become more aware / interested in the environmental attributes of the products they purchase; any misleading messages can cause significant damage to customer trust.
Greenwash and environmental claims are of particular interest at present as the CMA (Competitions and Market Authority) have recently completed a review of environmental claims on products and services in the UK. As part of this review, the CMA has warned businesses that they have until the end of the year to bring their marketing and environmental claims in line with the UK’s Green claims Code.
CMA has published an updated “Green Claims Code” which defines checks that should be made on any environmental claim about a product. This is supported by a 13-point checklist which is outlined in our short Greenwashing summary video below:
If you have any queries regarding environmental claims on products or services please get in touch with our sustainability team - firstname.lastname@example.org