• Home
  • News
  • Business
  • European Parliament votes in favour of Green Claims Directive, but in time?

European Parliament votes in favour of Green Claims Directive, but in time?

By Simone Preuss


Scroll down to read more


Greenwashing illustration. Credits: Jackie Mallon

On Tuesday, the European Parliament voted in favour of the Green Claims Directive, proposed by the European Commission in March 2023, thus confirming its stance that a game-changing legal framework to eliminate greenwashing is indeed much needed.

As part of the proposal, environmental claims would need to be verified by independent verifiers before a product is placed on the market. This would empower authorities and support companies to make accurate claims. There would also be strict sanctions in case of non-compliance.

The proposal would also improve the ban on product claims of carbon/climate neutrality or compensation, which needs to be reproduced in the Green Claims Directive. “Such claims are misleading when based on carbon offsetting/carbon credits,” according to a press release by the Environmental Coalition on Standards (ECOS).

The proposal would also improve the use of vaguely used claims such as ‘biobased’ or ‘reusable’.

Will European Council follow suit?

While the recent vote is an indicator, a consensus still has be reached on the final wording and adoption. With the impending EU elections (6th to 9th June 2024), the European Council has still not published its position.

“Time is running out for the EU to address greenwashing and finalise its Green Claims Directive this year, which the institutions now have a clear mandate to do. With the European Parliament endorsing an improved text, today’s vote was a positive step forward, but it came late, and there are more hurdles to jump. EU policymakers and member states must commit to finishing this race. Europe desperately needs rules to prevent misleading environmental claims and support consumers and sustainable businesses instead of companies that make false promises – this Directive could be it,“ commented ECOS’ programme manager Margaux Le Gallou on Tuesday.

According to the European Commission, a staggering 76 percent of all products on the EU market carry an implicit or explicit green claim, and “more than half of environmental claims made by businesses are misleading, unsubstantiated, or inaccurate”. This is because rules set in legislation and standards are loose, “leaving the door open to greenwashing,” warns ACOS.

Should the law get approved, EU consumers can expect more accurate, substantiated and clearly communicated environmental claims that are based on verifiable, publicly available data, leading to more trustworthy products.

Also read:

European Commission
green claims directive