Green Claims Directive takes positive steps towards strengthening rules on environmental claims

Published: 14/03/2024

(Brussels) The European Parliament took the positive step in approving the Green Claims Directive on Tuesday, which stands to introduce more credibility in the world of product environmental claims.

The Parliament’s proposal to simplify the ex-ante verification process by specifying claim categories for a simplified procedure and eliminating the need for additional label verification is a positive development. This approach ensures that unsubstantiated claims are kept off the market, while also providing companies with a streamlined process.

An additional positive step includes recongising other accepted certification standards for claims related to climate neutrality and net-zero beyond the EU Carbon Removal Certification Framework. This flexibility allows for a more inclusive approach, and will continue providing an incentive for investments in carbon removal activities outside the EU.

FoodDrinkEurope is also pleased to see the report propose stronger scrutiny of verifiers’ work, emphasising their responsibility for accurate assessments and the requirement for a complaint and dispute resolution mechanism.

However, some concerning elements remain. For example, the added complexity for claims concerning climate neutrality and net-zero, particularly regarding carbon credits and residual emissions, may pose challenges for businesses seeking to make credible claims, especially for those companies that have global supply chains.

Moreover, the decision to allow national and private initiatives will lead to divergent scoring systems and risk fragmenting the EU Single Market. This could lead to confusion and inconsistencies for consumers and businesses alike.

Finally, the decision to remove the reference to the Packaging and Packaging Waste Directive will create legal uncertainty and imposes a double regulatory burden for claims related to packaging and recycled content.

FoodDrinkEurope remains committed to working with policymakers to ensure that the Green Claims Directive achieves its intended goals while supporting the competitiveness and sustainability of Europe’s food and drink industry.