Green Claims Directive: what is it?

To limit greenwashing, in 2024 the European Union introduced the Green Claims Directive, an ambitious piece of legislation aimed at ensuring the transparency and truthfulness of environmental claims made by companies. This directive represents a significant step in the fight against greenwashing, a growing phenomenon in which companies mislead consumers by exaggerating or falsifying their environmental credentials.

Objectives of the Green Claims Directive

The Green Claims Directive aims to address several critical issues in the current market landscape where environmental claims are often vague, misleading, or outright false.

1. Improve Transparency: it seeks to improve transparency by mandating that companies provide clear, accurate, and verifiable information regarding their sustainable practices. This means that businesses must back up their claims with robust scientific evidence and third-party verification, thereby reducing the prevalence of deceptive marketing tactics known as greenwashing.

2. Protect Consumers: the directive is designed to protect consumers by ensuring they are not misled by false or exaggerated environmental claims. This protection is vital as more consumers are making purchasing decisions based on the perceived environmental impact of products and services. Accurate information enables them to make informed choices that align with their values.

3. Promote Sustainability: the directive aims to promote sustainability by encouraging companies to adopt genuine and impactful sustainable practices. By holding businesses accountable for their environmental claims, the directive incentivizes a shift towards more sustainable production and consumption patterns. This move is essential for achieving broader environmental goals, such as reducing carbon footprints, minimizing waste, and conserving natural resources.

Through these combined efforts, the Green Claims Directive aspires to create a marketplace where sustainability is not just a buzzword but a verified and integral part of business operations.

Key Provisions of the Green Claims Directive

Verification of Claims:

Verification of claims is a cornerstone of the Green Claims Directive. All environmental claims made by companies must be substantiated with robust scientific evidence and undergo verification by independent entities. This includes a comprehensive assessment of various environmental aspects such as carbon emissions, the use of recycled materials, energy efficiency, and the overall environmental impact. To maintain credibility and ensure ongoing compliance, the directive mandates regular audits and certifications conducted by accredited third parties. This rigorous verification process aims to eliminate false claims and ensure that only genuinely sustainable practices are promoted.

Transparency in Labeling:

Transparency in labeling is another critical provision of the directive. Product labels must provide consumers with detailed and easily understandable information about the environmental impact of the products. This requirement includes specific data on resource usage, carbon footprint, recyclability, and other relevant environmental metrics. The use of vague terms such as “eco-friendly” or “green” without detailed substantiation is strictly prohibited. The directive ensures that this information is readily accessible, enabling consumers to make informed and sustainable choices without navigating through misleading or complex details.

Severe Penalties:

The directive imposes severe penalties to enforce compliance and deter violations. Companies that fail to adhere to the directive’s provisions will face significant fines, which are proportionate to the severity and nature of the infractions. In cases of persistent non-compliance, businesses may be banned from marketing or selling their products within the EU. Additionally, the directive includes measures to publicize violations, leveraging the reputational risk to discourage deceptive practices. By imposing these stringent penalties, the directive aims to ensure that businesses take their environmental responsibilities seriously and maintain honest communication with consumers.

Challenges and future perspectives

The directive presents challenges, such as the significant resources required for implementation and monitoring. Small and medium-sized enterprises might struggle with the costs of verification and certification. Addressing these challenges will be crucial for the directive’s long-term success.

For consumers, the directive instills greater confidence and trust in environmental claims, enabling them to make informed, sustainable choices. This not only enhances consumer protection but also empowers individuals to contribute to broader environmental goals through their everyday purchases.

From a business perspective, the directive incentivizes the adoption of sustainable practices and innovation in environmental responsibility. Companies adhering to high environmental standards will gain a competitive edge as transparency becomes a market differentiator. For others, it serves as a wake-up call to elevate their practices and comply with new regulations, promoting a more sustainable business environment across industries.


The Green Claims Directive of 2024 is a significant advancement in regulating environmental claims within the European Union. By mandating stringent requirements for verification and transparency, the directive aims to eliminate greenwashing and promote genuine sustainability. This ensures companies provide scientifically substantiated and independently verified information about their environmental practices, fostering higher accountability.

The directive underscores the European Union’s commitment to environmental sustainability and its leadership in setting global standards for corporate responsibility. Rigorous penalties for non-compliance ensure companies take their environmental claims seriously, which is essential for achieving tangible progress in reducing environmental impacts.

In conclusion, the Green Claims Directive of 2024 aims to transform market dynamics around environmental claims by fostering transparency, protecting consumers, and promoting genuine sustainability. Its success will depend on the collective efforts of businesses, consumers, and regulatory bodies to embrace and uphold the principles it champions, creating a more accountable and environmentally responsible marketplace.

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Emma Salioni

WIth a degree in Digital content management for media, enterprises and cultural heritage, Emma Salioni has always had a strong interest in sustainability and circularity. After a period of time spent workin in The Netherlands, she started working with Tondo managing social media and communication, as well as supporting the organization of hackathons and events.