CMA publishes Green Claims Code and launches a review of misleading claims

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September 22, 2021, 5:47 PM UTC

Earlier this year, CMA found that 40% of green claims made online could be misleading.

In recent years, established companies like BMW, Shell and Ryanair have been called out by the Advertising Standards Authority about their green claims. The Competition and Markets Authority (CMA) has published a Green Claims Code to combat brands' greenwashing claims.

CMA's Green Claims Code is based on six principles. According to this code, claims must be truthful, accurate, clean and unambiguous, substantiated, and consider the full life cycle of the product or service. In addition to that, the minister of state for energy and clean growth, Greg Hands, said, "The competition regulator's new code will help to ensure this with advice on how best to communicate and understand environmental claims."

At the start of 2022, CMA is launching a sweeping review of online and offline misleading green claims, such as claims made in-store or on the packaging. So, companies that make false or deceptive claims about their green credentials have until the end of this year to clean up their act or face an investigation by the competition watchdog.

CMA would focus on industries – such as textiles and fashion, travel and transport and FMCG – where consumers are most concerned about greenwashing claims. CMA chief executive Andrea Coscelli said, "Any business that fails to comply with the law risks damaging its reputation with customers and could face action from the CMA."

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