This week, the CMA launched its eagerly anticipated Green Claims Code. The new Code comes ahead of a clampdown by the CMA on misleading and ambiguous green claims, including online or offline claims. The Code impacts businesses of all sizes and in all sectors. The CMA will use existing consumer protection laws to bring enforcement action against companies that fail to follow the rules, so it's vital that you familiarise yourself with the new Code and roll out changes where necessary.

How it impacts your business, and why the urgency?

The CMA found that around 40% of green claims made online could be misleading consumers. The CMA has given UK businesses until the end of the year to review their online and offline claims (including on websites, packaging, in store and so on), and make sure they are in line with the new code. Companies that have been making ambiguous environmental claims over recent years may need to turn over a new leaf.

If the CMA fines you for "green washing", or even if the ASA only upholds a complaint, not only will that damage your reputation with your customers, but it might will also put you at a competitive disadvantage in the market for talent.

The CMA will start actively enforcing the rules in the New Year. It will start by targeting sectors where consumers appear most concerned, including

  • textiles and fashion
  • travel and transport
  • fast-moving consumer goods (including food and drink, beauty and cleaning products)

...but their enforcement activity will not be limited to those sectors, so now is the time to ensure your green claims are whiter than white.

You can read more about the new Green Claims Code here. But why not join our free training session to find out more.

FREE training session

Join our experts, Brinsley and Geraint, for a free, live online training session on the new Code at 1pm (UK time) or 8am (EDT) for those of you in the US on Thursday, 30th September.

To sign up, simply email and mention "Green Claims Code".

The content of this article is intended to provide a general guide to the subject matter. Specialist advice should be sought about your specific circumstances.