On March 12, 2024, European MPs voted in favor of the Green Claims Directive, aimed at regulating the use of environmental labels and claims in the European market.

🔍Why this directive?

A study conducted by the Commission in 2020 showed that, out of 150 environmental claims examined, 53.3% of them were vague, misleading, or unfounded regarding the environmental characteristics of products, and 40% of them were not substantiated at all. This directive will restore the primary role of labels and claims: to enlighten and guide the consumption choices of European citizens, which is not necessarily the case today.

For several months, we have been mobilized alongside the European Commission and parliamentarians to bring our expertise. We are proud of the work carried out, which has helped to raise awareness among parliamentarians on the following points:

  • The importance of including in the scope of the directive the labels and claims already in circulation in the Union, to avoid distorting competition between products. It will also be necessary to regulate the emergence of new labels and claims to truly limit their proliferation;
  • The risk of using a single method to calculate the environmental impact of products. Some amendments called for a mandatory and exclusive consideration of the PEF (Product Environmental Footprint) evaluation mode, a calculation method intended for industrial products but which has significant gaps for sectors derived from living organisms such as agriculture, fishing, textiles. We argued for the use of other measurement methods that would appropriately value sustainable practices and their positive externalities on ecosystems and planetary boundaries.

📅 The next steps

We welcome the major progress this text represents in restoring consumer confidence and fighting against greenwashing. Heading to the European Council for the next stage of this text's legislative journey. We will bring several central issues that remain unresolved:

  • The directive's text provides for a simplified procedure for the simplest claims. The challenge will be to properly frame this process to not open the floodgates to abusive statements;
  • The text also envisages the creation of a consultation forum, in which the participation of verifiers seems essential to us.

We continue to mobilize so that these elements are clarified and that the directive continues to evolve in the right direction!

First victory in the fight against greenwashing!!
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