In recent years, many companies have joined in to make up their image by advertising a non-existent environmental awareness, in other works, greenwashing. So last January the European Parliament approved a law to combat this increasingly widespread practice.

How does greenwashing affect us?

Deceive the consumers by taking advantage of the change in their mentality and ecological awareness that they have been acquiring during these last years may end up being counterproductive for the planet.

If they do not apply clear regulations, these companies that get used to using misleading claims will affect us in the following ways:

1 – Companies involved with a paradigm shift will lose credibility.

2- Consumers will distrust any statement related to environmental awareness.

3- The planet pays and will pay the consequences of this mismanagement.

What we can do individually as consumers is to be well informed.

  • Watch out for the green colour of leaflets and labels. This colour has always been associated with “sustainability” and can be confusing.
  • The statement “neutral in carbon emissions”. If a company is related to coal, gas or oil, it can’t be carbon neutral.
  • Vague and generic statements. Some companies use too generic expressions like “eco” or “organic” that are not supported by any evidence.
  • Research the company. To see what his purposes are and what his actions are.
  • Find out about the certifications. Logos and environmental labels can only be acquired if an independent entity grants them, but it is necessary to know what they are.

In any case, the European Union has decided to intervene to reverse the situation. So, it will add to the list of prohibited business practices, a series of common practices in marketing related to greenwashing and the programmed obsolescence of some products.

Some of these new rules focus on clarifying product labelling and avoiding confusion. It is intended to prohibit the use of general environmental claims such as “environmentally friendly”, “eco”, “sustainable”, “natural” or “clean” without sufficient evidence.

Due to the large proliferation of sustainability labels, the EU also wants to regulate their use and only allow those labels based on official certification systems.