Skip to main content

'Green claims' and the CMA

Posted by: , Posted on: - Categories: Consumer protection

Image showing Cecila Parker Aranha

Whether it’s buying clothes, cosmetics or cleaning products, more people than ever are trying to make choices which are better for the environment.

More than half of UK consumers take environmental considerations into account when buying products.

Many businesses are already doing the right thing by being clear and upfront about how green a product really is, but that’s not always the case.

Did you know a recent analysis of websites found that 40% of green claims made online could be misleading?

We're concerned that people are paying more for so-called ‘eco-friendly’ products, while businesses that are genuinely investing in going ‘green’ aren’t getting the recognition they deserve.

Our work on environmental claims isn’t over yet

Last year we began investigating the impact of green marketing on consumers.

Since then, we’ve spoken to range of people including businesses, campaign and consumer groups, to find out how these claims are being made and how people respond to them.

It became clear to us that what businesses need is guidance to help them know what they should do to communicate their green credentials, in the best way, to reduce the risk of misleading their customers.

This is why we’ve written draft guidance for green claims, which sets out the 6 principles businesses should follow when making environmental claims.

Green claims 2

Green claims 1

We think businesses should:

  • be able to back up their green claims with robust, credible and up to date evidence
  • only make fair and meaningful comparisons - any products compared should meet the same needs or be intended for the same purpose
  • consider the total impact of a product or service. Claims can be misleading where they don’t reflect the overall impact or where they focus on one aspect of it but not another

Example: a comparative claim that a clothing range is now 'greener' is unlikely to be fair and meaningful on its own. It risks misleading consumers as the claim does not make clear the basis for the comparison.

You can help

It’s important we get this guidance on green claims right, not only to help businesses with their environmental goals but to also help their customers.

Customers should be able to know if a business, along with their products and services, is as green as they claim.

So, we’d like to hear from you.

If  you’re someone who buys or sells products which claim to be eco-friendly, you can tell us your thoughts by responding to our consultation by 16 July 2021.

Sharing and comments

Share this page

Leave a comment

We only ask for your email address so we know you're a real person

By submitting a comment you understand it may be published on this public website. Please read our privacy notice to see how the GOV.UK blogging platform handles your information.