NATRUE welcomes the European Union’s final approval of the directive aimed at empowering consumers for the green transition. This legislation, adopted by the European Council on 20th February 2024, is a significant step in improving product labelling standards, providing more accurate and reliable advertising; and banning commercial malpractices. The new directive works towards enhancing consumers’ rights by amending the Unfair Commercial Practices Directive (UCPD) and the Consumer Rights Directive (CRD) and adapting them for the green transition and the circular economy.

The directive will protect consumers from misleading or vague ‘green’ claims without evidence. The new directive will also give customers more helpful information so they can make good choices for the environment.

“We are thrilled to see the EU taking such decisive action to empower consumers for the green transition,” said Dr Mark Smith, NATRUE Director General. “The aims of the directive align with NATRUE’s core values and mission to help consumers avoid being misled by green claims. We welcome this next step to facilitate informed choice and support greener, more sustainable product choices.”

Bye bye to misleading claims
53% of green claims give vague, misleading, or unfounded information; and 40% of those claims have no supporting evidence[1]. In this context, one of the key provisions of the directive is the ban on generic environmental claims, such as “environmentally friendly”, “natural”, “biodegradable”, “climate neutral”, or “eco”; without substantiating evidence. This measure aims to enhance the accuracy and reliability of advertising, ensuring that companies cannot make unfounded assertions about the environmental impact and durability of their products.

The use of sustainability labels, which will be regulated in order to reduce the proliferation of labels globally, will remain an indispensable cornerstone in establishing trust. Looking ahead, only sustainability labels underpinned by third-party certification that meet strict EU requirements will be allowed in the EU. NATRUE will continue being the label you can trust!

NATRUE applauds the EU’s decision as a good step in the right direction to counter the lack of reliable information that may trigger malpractices like greenwashing. As an international organisation dedicated to promoting and protecting verifiable natural and organic cosmetics, NATRUE recognises the vital role that informed and empowered consumers play in driving positive change towards a more sustainable future.

Background information
On 30 March 2022, the European Commission presented a proposal for a directive on empowering consumers for the green transition. It is one of the initiatives set out in the Commission’s 2020 New Consumer Agenda and 2020 Circular Economy Action Plan, and comes in follow-up to the European Green Deal.

Read the official press release here.