The draft directive against greenwashing leaked
(sustainabilityenvironment.com) – EU Member States will have to impose fines on companies that sponsor their products as green, eco-friendly or environmentally friendly without having the right to do so. Sanctions that must be “effective, proportionate and dissuasive”.
The amount will be established by assessing “the nature and gravity of the breach” but also “the economic benefits” derived from it. In addition, the fine will also vary depending on the potential environmental damage caused. These are the new details on the directive against greenwashing that Brussels will present in a few weeks’ time. A draft of the measure was made public by the portal Euractiv.
The European campaign against “green claims” starts with good assumptions. Although it will be the task of individual countries to use the club against those who stray. And sanctions that are too low or the practice of turning a blind eye in certain cases could greatly weaken the measure.
The other sensitive point remains the methodologies created by Brussels with which companies will have to prove that they do not claim false or do not exaggerate their green credentials. The directive against greenwashing is based on the Product Environmental Footprint (PEF), a tool that considers the product’s entire life cycle. But the details of which are still under discussion. Once defined, however, it will become legally binding on the 27. An important step forward in the contrast to greenwashing.
The directive aims above all to eliminate opaque areas where “green claims” are not necessarily false but misleading or incomplete. On the other hand, this is the most common case study. According to monitoring carried out until November 2020, out of 344 products analyzed, in 42% of the cases, the companies’ claims raised reasonable doubts about their veracity or completeness.
In more than half of the cases (57.5%), in fact, the company did not provide sufficient evidence to verify the accuracy of the statement. In 50% of cases, however, it was not clear whether the claims related to all or only a part of the product, and in 3 out of 4 cases it remained ambiguous at which stages of the product life cycle they referred to.