The proposal 2023/0085 for a Directive by the European Council and the Parliament on substantiation and communication of explicit environmental claims (Green Claims Directive), aims to enhance sustainability and address the risk of greenwashing in product communication. While CLEPA supports this effort, in its current form, the Green Claims Directive may negatively impact the transition towards more sustainable products. A comprehensive overview of challenges and recommendations by the European automotive supply industry can be found in CLEPA’s new position paper.

Fact-based communication on the environmental contribution of products and services ensures a level-playing field for market actors in the sector. Automotive suppliers have been developing strategies and pre-competitive partnerships to provide sound, reliable and comparable tools to measure sustainability progress. Automotive supply companies acknowledge the importance of transparently communicating on the sustainability of their products. This communication not only empowers consumers to make informed choices, but also fosters a marketplace that promotes truly sustainable products. The Green Claims Directive should aid consumers in discerning between products of varying degrees of sustainability, thereby encouraging greater transparency and accountability across industry.

However, the Green Claims Directive could, in its current form, introduce an excessively high bar for sustainability communication. Uncertainty in the text, legal concerns and financial costs of certifications may result in preventing companies from communicating about sustainability entirely, which would, in turn, mean less transparency for customers. To achieve a sustainable economy, consumers need to be able to not only identify the best-in-class performing product, but also to distinguish between better and worse products. It is therefore crucial that the efforts to substantiate environmental claims are proportional to the competitive advantages that such claims bring to the market.

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