The Netherlands Authority for Consumers and Markets (ACM) has drawn up rules of thumb for sustainability claims that businesses use when selling their products and services. With these rules of thumb, ACM believes that businesses will inform consumers more correctly and properly about the sustainability aspects of their products or services. This will help boost confidence among consumers in sustainable products. As a result, markets for sustainable products and services will be able to grow and evolve even further.
ACM sees that consumers increasingly take into account sustainability aspects in their purchasing decisions. That makes it very interesting for businesses to promote their products and services as ‘sustainable’. Yet, consumers are not able to verify such claims by themselves. They must be able to have confidence that the claims that businesses make are true. False or misleading claims (also referred to as ‘greenwashing’) harm confidence among consumers, and result in unfair competition with businesses that do things correctly.
Edwin van Houten, Director of ACM’s Consumer Department, comments: “For consumers and businesses that wish to contribute to a more sustainable society, it is important that information about sustainability is correct and verifiable. These rules of thumb make clear what the requirements for sustainability claims are. If businesses and consumers encounter any false or misleading sustainability claims, they have the opportunity to submit them to us.”
Full Content: Authority for Consumers and Markets
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