Green claims (also known as environmental claims or eco-friendly claims) are claims that suggest that a product, service, brand or business provides a benefit, or is less harmful to the environment.
Typically, businesses use these claims when promoting or selling their products or services and they can be advertised in a range of ways.
Green claims are genuine when they properly describe the impact of a product, brand, business or service, with evidence to back it up.
Claims can be misleading if any information is untrue or hidden, if information is misrepresented or if it is taken out of context.
When making green claims, businesses must comply with consumer protection law.
It is also essential to comply with any sector- or product-specific laws that apply to a product or service. Before making a green claim, businesses should understand how their product, brand or business has an impact – both positively and negatively – on the environment for its whole life cycle.
When making a green claim, a business should be able to answer ‘yes’ or agree to each of the following statements:
The claim is accurate and clear for all to understand
There’s up-to-date, credible evidence to show that the green claim is true
The claim clearly tells the whole story of a product or service; or relates to one part of the product or service without misleading people about the other parts or the overall impact on the environment
The claim doesn’t contain partially correct or incorrect aspects or conditions that apply
Where general claims (eco-friendly, green or sustainable for example) are being made, the claim reflects the whole life cycle of the brand, product, business or service and is justified by the evidence
If conditions (or caveats) apply to the claim, they’re clearly set out and can be understood by all
The claim won’t mislead customers or other suppliers
The claim doesn’t exaggerate its positive environmental impact, or contain anything untrue – whether clearly stated or implied
Durability or disposability information is clearly explained and labelled
The claim doesn’t miss out or hide information about the environmental impact that people need to make informed choices
Information that really can’t fit into the claim can be easily accessed by customers in another way (QR code, website, etc.)
Features or benefits that are necessary standard features or legal requirements of that product or service type, aren’t claimed as environmental benefits
If a comparison is being used, the basis of it is fair and accurate, and is clear for all to understand