EU’s Green Claims Directive and Combating Greenwashing

Green marketing claims are widespread across industries. Conscious consumers strive to do the right thing but often encounter vague commitments. Internationally standardised processes and regulations are needed to provide consumers with guidance. The EU's proposal for a Directive on Green Claims, issued in March 2023, is a sign of coming legislative action on transparency. 
The Directive will be a game-changer for the fashion, textile, leather and footwear industries. What is it about? Let's look at the key elements. 

Current problems:

  • 53% of green claims give vague, misleading or unfounded information 

  • 40% of claims have no supporting evidence 

  • Half of all green labels offer weak or non-existent verification 

  • There are 230 sustainability labels and 100 green energy labels in the EU, with vastly different levels of transparency


  • Government-wide, legislative change across all industries  

  • Legal support and guidance from government institutions regarding supply chain processes 

  • Tools for consumers to make conscious buying choices  

Green Claims Directive's goals:

  • Defining criteria on how companies should communicate - and prove – their green claims and labels 

  • Strengthening & supporting consumers to make more responsible purchase decisions 


GCD key elements: 

Transparency: reliable and verifiable green claims across all EU countries 

Regulatory compliance: comparable rules and claim requirements across the EU 

Circular and green EU economy: mandatory, science-based and verifiable methods for environmental information 

Industry transformation: companies' operations comply with the new standards and facilitate a more circular ecosystem 

Claims targeted by the Green Claims Directive:

  • Claims made voluntarily by brands towards consumers, 

  • Claims covering the environmental impacts, garment performance or the brand itself 

  • Claims that are not currently covered by other EU rules 

The current proposal is the first step toward implementing mandatory regulations. Although it will take time to enact the legally binding requirements, the Directive already highlights the importance of correct product labelling. It is the first source of information for consumers. Labelling should be reliable, transparent and based on measurable claims.  

Source: European Commission, Green Claims