Green claims


Date: 04-08-2023

Today it is difficult for consumers to make sense of the many labels on the environmental performance of products (both goods and services) and companies.

Some environmental claims are not reliable, and consumer trust in them is extremely low. Consumers can be misled, and companies can give a false impression of their environmental impacts or benefits - a practise known as greenwashing.

With a proposed new law on green claims, the EU is taking action to address greenwashing, and protect consumers and the environment.

Ensuring that environmental labels and claims are credible and trustworthy will allow consumers to make better informed purchasing decisions. It will also boost the competitiveness of businesses who are striving to increase the environmental sustainability of their products and activities.



The proposal on green claims aims to

  • make green claims reliable, comparable and verifiable across the EU
  • protect consumers from greenwashing
  • contribute to creating a circular and green EU economy by enabling consumers to make informed purchasing decisions
  • help establish a level playing field when it comes to environmental performance of products



In March 2023, the Commission adopted a proposal for a Directive on Green Claims. The proposal complements and further operationalises the proposal for a Directive on empowering consumers in the green transition.


Key measures 

To ensure consumers receive reliable, comparable and verifiable environmental information on products, the proposal includes

  • clear criteria on how companies should prove their environmental claims and labels
  • requirements for these claims and labels to be checked by an independent and accredited verifier and
  • new rules on governance of environmental labelling schemes to ensure they are solid, transparent and reliable

The proposal targets explicit claims that

  • are made on a voluntary basis by businesses towards consumers,
  • cover the environmental impacts, aspects or performance of a product or the trader itself
  • are not currently covered by other EU rules

Some examples of green claims are:

“Packaging made of 30% recycled plastic”

“Company's environmental footprint reduced by 20% since 2015”

“CO2 emissions linked to this product halved as compared to 2020”


March 2023

Commission adopts proposal for a Directive on green claims

The proposal requires companies to substantiate claims they make about environmental aspects or performance of their products and organisations using robust, science based and verifiable methods.

Find out more in the press releasequestions and answers and factsheet. 

The Commission also adopted a proposal on common rules promoting the repair of goods, which will also contribute to sustainable consumption.

Find out more in the press release and questions and answers.

March 2022

Commission adopts proposal for a Directive on Empowering Consumers for the Green Transition

The proposal aims to ensure consumers get adequate information on products’ durability and reparability before purchasing a product. It will strengthen consumer protection against untrustworthy or false environmental claims.


Related policies

As part of the European Green Deal, one of the actions of the Circular Economy Action Plan is a proposal for companies to substantiate their environmental claims using robust, science based and verifiable methods.

The green claims proposal is closely linked to other EU policies

All these initiatives seek to establish a coherent policy framework to help the EU to make sustainable goods, services and business models the norm and to transform consumption patterns in a more sustainable direction. They aim to significantly reduce the environmental footprint of products consumed in the EU and contribute to the overall policy objective of EU climate neutrality by 2050.

See also more information on Environmental Footprints Methods.


Existing labels and schemes

  • EU Ecolabel - the official EU voluntary label for environmental excellence for products
  • EMAS - the EU's official eco-management and audit scheme, to improve the environmental performance of companies