Leading sustainability authority, Bureau Veritas, has welcomed the publication of the Competition and Markets Authority’s (CMA) ‘Green Claims Code’ and its six principles to ensure environmental claims are genuine, hailing it as a necessary step to ensure ‘total transparency’ for consumers when it comes to making more sustainable product choices.

The Green Claims Code, which is part of a wider awareness campaign on ‘greenwashing’ being led by the Government-backed CMA, establishes a series of simple principles which are designed to help businesses understand and comply with their existing obligations under consumer protection law when making environmental claims. Under the newly-introduced Code, businesses have until the new year to make sure their environmental claims comply with the law, or risk prosecution.

In line with the introduction of the Green Claims Code, and ahead of COP26, Bureau Veritas – a global leader in environmental and sustainability certification – is encouraging businesses to take a close look at their green claims and is issuing a stark reminder of the importance of being 100% assured that they can fully substantiate their sustainability claims before making them public.

Julie-Anna Smith, South & West Europe Sustainability Services Leader at Bureau Veritas, said: “The introduction of the Green Claims Code is absolutely key when it comes to providing consumers with confidence in the sustainable qualities of the products and services they are buying. In recent years we’ve seen a real ‘trend’ in business talking about their environmental credentials, however there are a worrying number of firms that have failed to match the scale of their claims with action.”

Indeed, earlier this year the CMA found that 40% of green claims made online could be misleading; suggesting that thousands of businesses could be breaking the law and risking their reputation.

Julie-Anna continued: “The Green Claims code will eliminate corporate greenwashing. It changes accountability, as businesses that fail to comply will face prosecution. The Code itself is simple to understand and is designed to support businesses in understanding their legal requirements and how best to communicate their green credentials. That said, it can still be a complex task for businesses, considering the processes they need to go through to audit their products, or services to really scrutinise their sustainable qualities – which is where a third party can really help.”

To support businesses in meeting the new requirements of the Green Claims Code, Bureau Veritas is able to provide gap analysis of websites, brochures and product labels, providing confidence that reported information is accurate and free of bias. The gap analysis will also mitigate any risks associated with the potential disclosure of inaccurate or misleading information and provide solutions on improving your sustainability reporting to meet the requirements of the Code. In addition, Bureau Veritas is a leading assurance provider for sustainability reporting, with experience across a breadth of topics, standards, regulations and sectors.

Julie-Anna added: “Whilst the Green Claims Code is a UK-initiative, we’d anticipate that it won’t be long before the EU follows suit. We’d therefore encourage businesses to get ahead of the game now, ensuring they meet the principles of the Code now – or risk prosecution further down the line.”

To find out more about Bureau Veritas’ services or to discuss individual requirements with a member of the team, call 0345 600 1828 or visit www.bureauveritas.co.uk.