Directive of the European Parliament and of the Council on substantiation and communication of explicit environmental claims (Green Claims Directive)
What is the Green Claims Directive?
The EU has proposed a new framework for standardizing the environmental claims used in the marketing and labelling of products and services. This move aims to increase consumer trust and provide clarity on the actual environmental impacts and benefits of products and services, which is needed because unfortunately many environmental claims are unreliable or unsubstantiated.
Likely to come into force in 2026, the proposed directive focuses on the substantiation and communication of explicit environmental claims. It requires companies to substantiate the environmental aspects and/or performance of their products and services using robust, science-based and verifiable methods.
Under the new directive, when companies make a green claim about their products or services, they must adhere to established norms for substantiating and communicating these claims. This includes explicit claims like "T-shirt made of recycled plastic bottles" or "CO2-compensated delivery".
Is this directive legally binding?
A "directive" is a legislative act that sets out a goal that EU countries must achieve. However, it is up to the individual countries to devise their own laws on how to reach these goals. So once this proposed directive is approved by the European Parliament and Council, it will be up to individual Member States to implement this directive.
How will the Green Claims Directive help our customers?
The proposed directive will aim to set clear standards to combat greenwashing and ensure environmental claims are substantiated and verifiable. Harmonized rules for claims and product labelling should reduce consumer confusion around sustainability and enable consumers to make better-informed purchasing decisions, while also boosting the competitiveness of businesses genuinely working towards environmental sustainability.
How will the Green Claims Directive help businesses?
This directive will ensure that businesses making genuine efforts to improve their environmental sustainability are recognized and rewarded. It will reduce unfair competition and establish a level playing field regarding products’ environmental performance.
How will the Green Claims Directive impact businesses?
Businesses will have to independently verify green claims using transparent and credible scientific evidence so that they comply with future EU regulations before they can communicate them to potential customers.
What does the proposed directive say about labelling?
Member States must ensure that environmental labels meet specific requirements and are subject to verification. Only labels awarded under environmental labelling schemes established under EU law may present a rating or score of a product’s environmental impact.
What does the Green Claims Directive say about Life Cycle Assessments (LCAs)?
The directive states that different types of environmental claims will require varying levels of substantiation, but it doesn’t prescribe a single method for all claims. It discusses the further development of environmental footprints (EFs) and other approaches for substantiating green claims, including the management of transition phases and data for Life Cycle Assessments (LCAs). Specifically, it doesn’t mandate conducting a full LCA for each type of claim; however, the assessment used to substantiate explicit environmental claims should consider the life cycle of the product and/or the overall activities of the trader.
What does the proposed directive say about LCAs and comparisons between products?
When companies compare their products with others in terms of environmental impact, they will have to use similar types of information and data for all products. This helps ensure a fair and accurate comparison.
Ansell is fully behind the Green Claims Directive, as it will help our customers understand which personal protective products are objectively more sustainable. Sustainability has always been top of our agenda and we’ve always based our product claims on scientific methods, so the framework presented in this directive is already largely embedded in the way we do business. If you’d like to know more about sustainability at Ansell, please contact your Ansell representative.
For more information on Ansell’s sustainability efforts, please visit www.ansell.com/sustainability.