Cracking Down on ‚Greenwashing‘: UK Companies Face Hefty Fines for Misleading Environmental Claims

Cracking Down on ‚Greenwashing‘: UK Companies Face Hefty Fines for Misleading Environmental Claims

UK companies that make false or misleading environmental claims, known as ‚greenwashing‘, now face hefty fines under proposed new laws. The Digital Markets, Competition and Consumer Bill will allow the Competition and Markets Authority (CMA) to impose direct civil penalties of up to 10% of global turnover on companies that breach consumer law, while individuals could be fined up to £300,000. The CMA has already started investigating the eco-friendly and sustainability claims of several brands, and recently announced that it would also examine the accuracy of environmental claims made about household essentials. This comes after an advert for Persil was banned by the Advertising Standards Authority in August 2020 for not making its basis for the claim of „kinder to our planet“ clear. The Financial Conduct Authority has also consulted on its own package of measures aimed at preventing greenwashing.

What is Greenwashing?

Greenwashing is a term used to describe deceptive marketing practices of companies that make false or exaggerated claims about the environmental benefits of their products and services. Companies may use greenwashing to mislead consumers into believing that their products are more environmentally friendly than they actually are. This can be done through labeling, advertising, or other forms of communication. Greenwashing is a practice that has become increasingly common in today’s world as companies seek to capitalize on the growing awareness of environmental issues. It is important for consumers to remain vigilant and do their research when considering purchasing products with green claims.
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Picture source: Terry Vlisidis

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