(Bloomberg) -- The European Union’s executive branch will put forward measures to tackle misleading climate claims by companies, stepping up its efforts to curb widespread greenwashing in product advertisement.
EU countries will have to ensure that environmental assertions made by companies about their products are backed by scientific evidence, according to draft European Commission proposals seen by Bloomberg. Under the plans, firms that want to tout the positive climate aspects of their offerings also have to highlight the detrimental effects.
A 2020 survey found that more than half of the product environmental claims studied contained “vague, misleading or unfounded information,” according to the draft proposal.
“This initiative will contribute to fighting greenwashing,” said the draft document, which is still subject to change. “Consumer trust in green claims is quite low.”
The plan, which is expected in coming months, would be among a series of measures the Commission is putting in place to make sure the booming industry for environmentally friendly products isn’t built on dubious climate credentials. The rules are intended to work alongside existing environmental labels, such as the EU’s own ecolabel.
Read more: EU Targets Beer, Big Plastic by Cutting Packaging Waste
EU member states will be able to impose penalties on those companies that fail to back up their claims, according to the draft proposal.
©2023 Bloomberg L.P.