Members' Research Service By / October 6, 2023

‘Green claims’ directive: Protecting consumers from greenwashing [EU Legislation in Progress][Policy Podcast]

Many labels claim products are ‘greener’, ‘more sustainable’ or ‘eco-friendlier’ than others.

© metelsky25 / Adobe Stock

Written by Guillaume Ragonnaud (1st edition).

Consumers are faced with a wealth of claims on the ‘green’ nature of products. In the absence of specific EU rules, how can they be sure that these claims are reliable, comparable and verifiable throughout the EU? On 22 March 2023, the European Commission put forward a proposal for a directive on green claims. The proposed directive would require companies to substantiate the voluntary green claims they make in business-to-consumer commercial practices, by complying with a number of requirements regarding their assessment (e.g. taking a life-cycle perspective). No single method for the assessment would be stipulated. The proposal would also set requirements on how to communicate the claims and introduce rules on environmental labelling schemes. Compliance with these requirements would have to be verified and certified by a third party (‘verifier’). The proposal is now in the hands of the co-legislators. In Parliament, the file was allocated jointly to the Committees on Internal Market and Consumer Protection (IMCO) and on Environment, Public Health and Food Safety (ENVI).


Proposal for a directive of the European Parliament and of the Council on substantiation and communication of explicit environmental claims (green claims directive)
Committees responsible:
(Joint committee)
Committee on Internal Market and Consumer
Protection (IMCO) and Committee on the Environment, Public Health and Food Safety (ENVI)
Co-rapporteurs:Andrus Ansip (Renew, Estonia)
Cyrus Engerer (S&D, Malta)
Shadow rapporteurs:Arba Kokalari (EPP, Sweden)
Pernille Weiss (EPP, Denmark)
Laura Ballarín Cereza (S&D, Spain)
Emma Wiesner (Renew, Sweden)
Kim Van Sparrentak (Greens/EFA, Netherlands)
Carlo Fidanza (ECR, Italy)
Annalisa Tardino (ID, Italy)
Petros Kokkalis (The Left, Greece)
Anne-Sophie Pelletier (The Left, France)
Ordinary legislative
procedure (COD) (Parliament and Council
on equal footing – formerly ‘co-decision’)
Next steps expected: Vote in committee on the draft report


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