Beyond the hype: anti-greenwash legislation and consumer awareness are catalysts for good

Last updated: 4th October 2023

Here, we shine a light on how businesses can positively impact consumer choices as they strive to reduce their environmental impact.

‘’be part of the responsible revolution in aligning your environmental claims and reputation on impactful goals led by science’’

To help businesses navigate responsible green claims, the Advertising Standards Agency provide guidance, while the Competition & Markets Authority lead on fairness and enforcement.

The Advertising Standards Agency (ASA) is intended to guide advertisers, agencies, and media owners on how to interpret the Green Claims Code and stay within the guidelines. It also has the power to ban ads and campaigns.

The Competition & Markets Authority (CMA) helps people, businesses, and the UK economy by promoting competitive markets and tackling unfair behaviour. The CMA also published the Green Claims Code in 2021 to tackle greenwashing.

Throughout 2023 and 2024, CMA intends to help companies responsibly pursue their environmental sustainability initiatives in emergent markets such as energy efficiency. In addition to this, help avoid potential greenwashing, through conducting investigations into sustainability claims made by major fashion brands.

Consumer awareness and demand continues to grow organically, aided by high profile enforcements such as those by the CMA on big brands. Research by KPMG found over half of UK consumers are prepared to boycott brands over misleading green claims and two in three consumers will actively seek sustainable goods and services. However, making sustainable choices remain challenging because few, if any products on the shelf convey their lifecycle impact in a way that is accessible and transparent. An example of this is reflected in stubbornly low consumer recognition of environmental impact labelling aimed at helping consumers make informed choices.

Is there another way to help consumers? Perhaps the challenge presents an ideal opportunity to re-write and positively impact the producer-consumer relationship:

  1. Know what you market: make the effort to unravel your product or service value chain data
  2. Understand and avoid the subtler forms of greenwash: Planet Tracker show how not to mislead your audience to remain credible beyond the very short term
  3. Design for the environment: revisit the impact of product, service or campaign
  4. Design for the consumer: build a conversation and relationship based on credible, responsible claims
  5. Be braver than your competitors: resist overselling, celebrate accurate science-based marketing claims
  6. Collaborate and support: stakeholder, supplier transparency and help your current and future customers to make informed decisions together

From a competitive and consumer perspective, lead the way on marketing products and services with an honest and open conversation on specific environmental impacts.

Reducing your environmental impact is big commitment, but if you take your consumers and stakeholders on this journey with you, the business benefits are above and beyond. Take this opportunity to drive forward your sustainability strategy with Beyondly, who will give you everything you need to confidently make environmental claims following your project. 

N.B. The information contained in this entry is provided by the above supplier, and does not necessarily reflect the views and opinions of the publisher

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