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.

Latest from Marketing Week


Access Marketing Week’s wealth of insight, analysis and opinion that will help you do your job better.

Register and receive the best content from the only UK title 100% dedicated to serving marketers' needs.

We’ll ask you just a few questions about what you do and where you work. The more we know about our visitors, the better and more relevant content we can provide for them. And, yes, knowing our audience better helps us find commercial partners too. Don't worry, we won't share your information with other parties, unless you give us permission to do so.

Register now


Our award winning editorial team (PPA Digital Brand of the Year) ask the big questions about the biggest issues on everything from strategy through to execution to help you navigate the fast moving modern marketing landscape.


From the opportunities and challenges of emerging technology to the need for greater effectiveness, from the challenge of measurement to building a marketing team fit for the future, we are your guide.


Information, inspiration and advice from the marketing world and beyond that will help you develop as a marketer and as a leader.

Having problems?

Contact us on +44 (0)20 7292 3703 or email

If you are looking for our Jobs site, please click here