WORLD ENVIRONMENT DAY COMING UP – Ensure that your marketing is compliant

Given the rise in consumer awareness and desire for more sustainable goods and services and the hard work many companies are putting in to be greener, it is understandable to want to market environmental efforts. On many companies’ websites, we can see symbols or icons indicating that a company or product is “green,” and often, the climate footprint is indicated.

However, the rise of such claims, symbols, and icons has also increased the need for review and regulation to protect consumers from vague, unsubstantiated, or, worst case, misleading and false claims. Recent examples include an online retailer committing to removing misleading statements and providing clearer information after a coordinated EU action, as well as a dairy company being prohibited under penalty of a fine to market its’ dairy product with the claim “net zero climate footprint” (Sw: “netto noll klimatavtryck”). This has led to the Nordic consumer authorities calling companies to review how they use climate and sustainability claims in their marketing. 

With World Environmental Day on June 5, 2024, we would like to share some tips to help you ensure your marketing is compliant.

We could start with the basics – don’t be misleading and act according to “good marketing practices.”

But what does that mean in real life? Here are some examples of what you can do:

  • Ensure that what is stated is not ambiguous or too vague – the average consumer should understand what you are communicating and the consequences thereof. For example, you can describe what concrete measures are taken instead of using general claims about climate compensation.
  • Ensure that the claim is qualified and that you have support for your claim, which also should be communicated in your marketing. An environmental claim means that there are high requirements on the validity of the claim.
  • Ensure that the claims are not based on generic features of the goods and/or services presented as remarkable or, conversely, the absence of a component, ingredient, feature, or impact that has never been associated with the product or service concerned. 
  • Ensure that environmental signs or symbols do not falsely suggest official approval or third-party certification and are used in marketing communication only when the source of those signs or symbols is indicated, and there is no likelihood of confusion over their meaning.
  • Assess whether your proposed claims are subject to any mandatory regulations or legislation.
  • Periodically reassess the claim, especially a comparative claim, based on changed circumstances and developments to ensure that it remains accurate and not misleading.
  • Educate your staff or employ a legal expert to review your marketing materials regularly.

Do you have any questions or need further help? Please feel free to contact us; we can help you review your marketing material, produce educational material, and/or answer any questions you might have.

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