Government to monitor companies’ green claims

The proliferation of companies aiming to meet growing demand for environmentally-sensitive products and services on offer has sparked action at Whitehall, with Defra promising to update a six-year-old code that outlines what qualifies as 'green' in the marketplace.

On Wednesday, February 18 Lord Philip Hunt, Minister for Sustainable Development, announced plans to put together steering group to bring Defra’s existing Green Claims code up to date.

The group will include representatives from several Government departments as well as business, watchdogs such as the Advertising Standards Authority and consumer groups.

The original code, published in 2003, was drawn up to protect consumers from false advertising and to give businesses a benchmark to determine whether they could fairly market their goods or services as ‘green’.

The updated version will address gaps in the current guidance to keep pace with the vast range of claims made and ensure they are relevant, accurate and truthful.

Lord Philip Hunt said: “Consumers are often confronted with all sorts of ‘green’ claims by companies and products. Working with industry and updating the ‘Green Claims’ Code will support business to ensure that their claims are genuine and meaningful.

“It will also reassure consumers that when a green claim is made, they can feel confident it is truthful.”

Sam Bond

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