The EU Commission, together with national consumer protection authorities, has analysed the websites of companies for ecological window-dressing (referred to as “greenwashing”). In 42 per cent of the cases examined, the environmental claims were exaggerated, false or misleading. In over half of the cases, the company in question did not provide consumers with sufficient information to assess the accuracy of these claims. The websites of companies from various industries were examined, such as clothing or household appliances. As consumers assign increasing importance to environmentally friendly products, ecological greenwashing has also increased. This was revealed by an annual sweep of websites for breaches of EU consumer law presented on 28 January 2021.
The national authorities will contact the enterprises concerned to draw attention to the problems identified and ensure that they are rectified where necessary.
Not only are public authorities concerned with this issue. According to a recently conducted consumer market survey, 78 per cent of consumers rated the likely environmental impact of household appliances as very or fairly important with regard to their buying decisions.
Recommendation: Distributors should be very careful with the claims and advertising of their products. Well-meant statements on the sales page can result in reactions from the supervisory authorities. trade-e-bility offers a cost-effective precautionary instrument with its “Product Compliance Audit in Online Shop”.
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