Greenwashing- Will companies soon have to have their marketing claims validated-

“Companies will have to submit any future environmental marketing claims for approval before using them,” says Parliament. “Claims will be assessed by accredited verifiers within 30 days, according to the adopted text. Companies that break the rules may be excluded from public contracts, lose their revenue and be fined at least 4% of their annual turnover.”This was voted on February 14. This “position” (proposal for a law, in Brussels jargon) will normally be put to the vote at the plenary session of the European Parliament in March. The dossier will then be followed up by the new term of office, after the European elections scheduled for June 6 to 9.

If the text is put into action, the European Commission should draw up a list of the least complex claims and products that could benefit from faster or simpler verification. It will also have to decide whether ecological claims can be used for products containing dangerous substances.Once the text, which can be consulted on the Parliament’s website, has been applied, SMEs will have one year more than larger companies before having to apply the new rules. The MEPs also ruled that the rules will not apply to micro-businesses. “Studies show that 50% of companies’ environmental claims are misleading. Consumers and entrepreneurs deserve transparency, legal clarity and a level playing field”, said Estonian MEP Andrus Ansip, rapporteur for the Internal Market Committee. His counterpart on the Environment Committee believes that “it is time to put an end to greenwashing.” And that the agreement “puts an end to the proliferation of misleading ecological claims.”Last July, Parliament decided to ban green claims based solely on carbon offsetting mechanisms. On February 14, MEPs clarified that companies can still mention these mechanisms if the carbon credits are certified and the structure is working at the same time to reduce its residual emissions. This rule also applies to comparative marketing, including between two products from the same place of production.

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