MPs: Clear labelling is needed to wipe out greenwash

The Government must act to stamp out greenwash by enforcing a tough new environmental labelling system, a Commons committee is recommending this morning (March 23).

The Government must act to stamp out “greenwash” by enforcing a tough new environmental labelling system, a Commons committee is recommending this morning (March 23).

The Environmental Audit Committee is calling for a “universal” labelling scheme similar “to those emerging for food products” to instil consumer confidence in today’s report Environmental Labelling.

It called on the Government to “be prepared to legislate” on such a scheme if necessary to end company’s use of insubstantial or meaningless claims or so-called “greenwash.”

Committee member Colin Challen MP (pictured) says the code must be universal to fit the needs of very different sectors. “The Environmental choices a consumer makes buying shampoo are different to those they make when buying a car, but whatever we are buying more needs to be done to make clear the environmental choices we each make whenever we choose one product over another,” he says.

Last month the Government announced it was consulting on drawing-up a voluntary green labelling code to end “dodgy greenwashing”. Development of the code is being managed by a steering group which includes representation from the Incorporated Society of British Advertisers (ISBA) and the Advertising Association.

The original code was drawn-up in 2003 devised to help marketers communicate their products’ green credentials and help protect consumers from bogus or inaccurate claims.

However the code is being updated because the green market explosion since then has heightened consumer confusion surrounding conflicting claims about environmental credentials.

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