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Forbrugerombudsmandens Quick Guide

The Consumer Ombudsman has written a Quick Guide to help companies navigate the world of green marketing.

What do I need to know?

It outlines how companies must proceed to avoid greenwashing campaigns. Greenwashing is marketing that either portrays a product in a more sustainable light or leads consumers and customers to believe that the product has a green profile.

The brief is preceded by a screening of marketing by companies in the EU, of which 344 companies were screened for questionable "green claims."

The Consumer Ombudsman's starting point is marketing law, which has nothing to do with sustainability or the lack thereof, but simply sets guidelines for how a company should and should not market its product.

The Consumer Ombudsman generally distinguishes between two types of statements: general and specific:

  1. A general statement refers to the company's marketing as a whole, and thus to statements that describe the company as "green," "climate-friendly," "sustainable," etc. These statements are difficult to document because they must be backed up with provable arguments or life cycle analyzes and must be applicable to the entire company.
  2. A specific statement about the environment is easier to document, as it only relates to a specific product or activity and the company therefore only needs to be able to validate the activity in question.

The company must be able to document the validity in its sustainable marketing, and here it is absolutely necessary that the activity has a clear sustainability impact and not just a marginal impact.

Overall, it is essential that your company is 'best in class' in your field. Therefore, it should stand out and have a significantly lower environmental impact than similar companies, activities or products. In addition, it is common for an independent third party to perform a life cycle analysis for the product.

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