EU: EU adopts new verification requirements to combat greenwashing

As published on: fintech.global, Monday 19 February, 2024. 

The European Union (EU) has revealed new standards that are designed to combat greenwashing by adopting new rules aimed at ensuring the accuracy of environmental marketing claims made by companies.

The Internal Market and Environment committees have set out new regulations which require companies to undergo a verification process for their environmental assertions before publicising them, according to ESG News.

These directives are particularly vital in light of the rampant misleading environmental claims, with studies indicating that up to 50% of such claims are deceptive. Consequently, consumers and businesses are clamouring for transparency and regulatory clarity in environmental marketing practices.

Parliament’s rapporteur Andrus Ansip (Renew, EE) for the Internal Market Committee explained, “Studies show that 50% of companies’ environmental claims are misleading. Consumers and entrepreneurs deserve transparency, legal clarity and equal conditions of competition. Traders are willing to pay for it, but not more than they gain from it. I am pleased that the solution proposed by the committees is balanced, brings more clarity to consumers and at the same time is, in many cases, less burdensome for businesses than the solution originally proposed by the Commission.”

Companies seeking to make environmental claims will now be obligated to submit their assertions for scrutiny by accredited verifiers.

These verifiers will assess the claims within a 30-day window. Failure to adhere to these regulations could result in severe penalties, including exclusion from procurements, revenue confiscation, and fines amounting to at least 4% of the company’s annual turnover.

Additionally, the EU has specified that simpler and common types of environmental claims may benefit from expedited verification processes, facilitating smoother compliance for businesses.

Parliament’s rapporteur Cyrus Engerer (S&D, MT) for the Environment Committee added, “It is time to put an end to greenwashing. Our agreement on this text ends the proliferation of deceitful green claims which have tricked consumers for far too long. It also ensures that businesses have the right tools to embrace genuine sustainability practices. European consumers want to make environmental and sustainable choices and all those offering products or services must guarantee that their green claims are scientifically verified.”


EU Greenwashing Green finance Sustainable finance

US: US, five European countrie…