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It’s time to get green(er) everyone, get those brand values up-to-date and reviewed as the government is beginning to knuckle down on businesses that mislead falsely implemented green claims.  

Wait, what’s going on? 

The CMA (The Competition and Markets Authority) have given the red-light warning to companies that claim their products comply with the law should (unsurprisingly) follow the law. 

Investigations carried out last year by the CMA found that 40% of green claims made online could be misleading. This evidence implies that businesses could be breaking the law through false representations of their products and brand.

These new rules have been labelled under the “Green Claims Code” and will aim to provide companies with steps into making their credentials as eco-friendly as possible. These laws won’t be mandatory until New Year, so we have plenty of time to improve our values and refine our images so that they’re squeaky-green. 

Firstly let’s get to grips with greenwashing… 

What’s Greenwashing? 

Greenwashing is a marketing term that suggests environmental PR is applied deceptively to persuade the public. These methods include spinning aims and policies to emphasise an environmentally-friendly image for the brand, even if that’s not the case.  

In a statement, Andrea Conscelli, Chief Executive of the CMA, said: “More people than ever are considering the environmental impact of a product before parting with their hard-earned money. We’re concerned that too many businesses are falsely taking credit for being green, while genuinely eco-friendly firms don’t get the recognition they deserve.” 

Previously, we’ve seen many companies muddying the water when it comes to greenwashing, such as Ryanair Air, who posted statistics based on data from 2011 to keep a specific brand representation.  

The Claims 

We’ve established when and why the rules are coming, now let’s look at what they are. HM Government has a lovely little video explaining the laws, but we thought we’d post them too and elaborate on what your business can do to keep clean and green. 

1: Are your claims truthful and accurate? 

2: Are your claims clear and unambiguous? 

3: Do your claims omit or hide important information? 

4: Do your claims make fair and meaningful comparisons? 

5: Have you substantiated your claims? 

6: Do your claims consider the full lifecycle of a product? 

Not too bad, right? These rules should already be methods you have integrated into your brand values in some shape, way or form. Now it’s a matter of improvement; fine-tweaking those values to make sure your business shines brightly in the eyes of the audience.  

How can we make sure of this? 

Live up to all the claims you’ve made.

  • Don’t be the person who brags about how good they are without clear and detailed examples. Make sure you’re providing credible evidence to back up your claims.  

Don’t be vague!

  • The classic tale of “customer comes first” never fades. Your statements should be transparent and clear so that everyone can appreciate where you stand and make an informed choice on what they’re purchasing.   

Establish your impact! 

  • Emphasise the effect your product has in the grand scheme of things, from creation to disposal. You should bring your audience on a journey that keeps them fully informed about how passionate you are about making environmental changes.  

Additionally, it’s vital to remember supply chains are in constant flux; there will always be a consistent evolution in social and environmental regulation. Rework brand values from time to time ground your business at the forefront of a positive brand reputation – as long as you can live by them!

Anything else, Arke? 

Shout your values from the rooftop! Every company is unique and has the right to emphasise its importance in environmental change. 

Remember, carrying out your statements is just as important as stating them, so be as eco-active as possible. We have a great blog regarding brand values and how to make an impactful stand, which you can read here

We live in a very eco-conscious world with sustainable and green credentials becoming more and more the norm. Are you ready? 

Would you like advice on how to invigorate your brand values? Perhaps you want to gain insight into maintaining an environmentally-friendly presence online? Contact our expert team now. 

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