RREUSE’s reaction to the European Commission’s proposal for a directive on substantiation and communication of explicit environmental claims

by | Mar 22, 2023 | News, Press Releases



RREUSE welcomes the Commission’s intention to tackle misleading claims and greenwashing practices through the introduction of minimum criteria for the substantiation of green claims. The proposed directive presents some particularly encouraging developments such as the introduction of third party certification schemes and the possibility given to member states to conduct checks on claims and labels. In the same vein, the foreseen penalties are very ambitious, especially regarding the possible exclusion from public procurement procedures in case of non-compliance with the directive.

However, the initiative still presents remaining issues. First of all, the directive does not take into account social claims and the social impact of products. While social claims should also reflect the societal cost of products and their compliance with labour standards, such transparency could also highlight best practices as those provided by circular social enterprises which create local employment for vulnerable individuals at risk of social exclusion.

Obliging companies that use green claims to provide evidence certifying their products’ environmental performance is consumers’ right and will be key for them to make informed sustainable purchasing decisions. Hence, the future of the second-hand sector will notably depend on longer-lasting and reusable products, and it is therefore crucial that the durability claims are reflecting reality.

– Marie-Jeanne Gaertner, Project and Advocacy Officer – RREUSE

Photo credit: Kringwinkel ViTes