For the first time, ICPEN's annual sweep of websites has focused on misleading environmental claims, and has found that 40% of brands’ green claims could be misleading.
As part of the international sweep, led by the Competition and Markets Authority (CMA) and the Netherlands Authority for Consumers and Markets (ACM), ICPEN members analysed almost 500 websites promoting products and services across a range of sectors. Some of the misleading tactics identified included vague claims and unclear language (e.g. "eco" or "natural products"), use of own brand eco logos and labels, and omission of information which might otherwise contradict eco-friendly claims (e.g. products' pollution levels).
Those interested in this area will remember that the CMA recently launched its own investigation into misleading environmental claims. A helpful summary of that investigation can be found in my colleagues' earlier post here. This investigation is ongoing, and the above findings will be used to inform the investigation alongside the results from the CMA's survey. If the CMA considers that consumer protection law has been broken, it will take out appropriate action. You can find more information on the CMA's investigation here, or look out for more updates on this blog.