2022 is the year when guidelines around communication of products sold in Europe are becoming a reality based on targets of the EU Green Deal. What does this actually mean? Suston asked Cira Riedel and Anna Rodewald from Greenroom Voice to share their insights.
One of the major challenges societies around the globe are facing at present is how to ensure a rapid transition to a sustainable future. Surveys show that consumers have the will to act more sustainably, but often do not know how to do so. They also want to know the environmental footprints of a product, a service, a brand and a company are. And yes, some consumers are even willing to spend more for sustainability. But first they need to know and trust that a product or service is truly more sustainable.
Today, it is difficult for consumers, companies and other market actors to make sense of the many environmental labels and initiatives that deal with the environmental performance of products and companies. There are more than 200 environmental labels active in the EU, and more than 450 active worldwide. There are over 80 widely used reporting initiatives and methods for carbon emissions alone. Some of these methods and initiatives are reliable, and some are not.
Another issue is greenwashing by companies that present a false or deceptive impression of their environmental impact or benefits. Greenwashing misleads market actors and steals advantages deserved by those companies that are taking real and often times costly steps to reduce the impacts of their products and activities. This ultimately leads to a less sustainable economy.
What we have often observed with our work, is that greenwashing happens mostly unintentionally, especially in the Outdoor Industry. It is more the result of a disconnect between specialized sustainability knowledge and corporate marketing language.
Prepare low-impact products and services today
To tackle this issue, the European Green Deal states that “Companies making ‘green claims’ should substantiate these against a standard methodology to assess their impact on the environment.” How this is going to be rolled out in practical terms, and what exactly a brand will need to do in order to fulfil the requirements (such as the Product Environmental Footprint or the digital product passport, etc.), including how this will be enforced, will be decided by the European Commission over the summer.
In the meantime, outdoor companies can already make sure that the right products, information and incentives are available or in the pipeline in preparation of “substantiating green claims” legislation coming into effect.
Want to learn more about the EU Initiative for Substantiating Green Claims? Visit the EU Commission information page here.
GreenroomVoice is a specialized agency focusing on the communication of sustainability in the outdoor sports sector. GreenroomVoice works to build trust and transparency around innovations and business practice by the most progressive brands in the industry, in order to showcase best practice in tradeshows, through various media, and by creating sustainability profiles.
“Understanding Green Claiming” Workshop: Sept-Dec. 2021
Gain a deeper comprehension on the EU initiatives and how to position your business for best possible alignment with this upcoming monthly workshop series, hosted together with Ohana Public Affairs Agency.
For more information and registration, visit GreenroomVoice.
Photo: Jarrett Tilford, Pixabay