Ecommerce Europe publishes its position paper on the Green Claims Directive


On 23 October, Ecommerce Europe published its position paper on the European Commission’s proposal for a Directive on the substantiation and communication of explicit environmental claims.

The proposal, published in March, aims at establishing criteria to tackle unsubstantiated environmental claims and ensuring that consumers receive reliable, comparable and verifiable information to enable them to make more sustainable decisions. Notably, the text includes requirements on the communication of all voluntary claims made by a trader to a consumer about the environmental impacts, aspects or performance of a product or a service, or the about the trader themselves.  The text also aims at mitigating the proliferation of environmental labels by authorising Member States to limit the creation of new private and public schemes.

Ecommerce Europe values the European Commission’s work and believes that the new legislation constitutes a concrete opportunity for retailers operating online to better communicate on the essential role they play in making sustainable products and services available to consumers across the EU. However, the position paper raises the concerns of the e-commerce industry on certain aspects of the proposal which could have an adverse impact on the Directive’s contribution to a greener economy and a high level of consumer protection. Ecommerce Europe believes that the Green Claims Directive should:

  • Provide unambiguous definitions and a clear scope for the new rules, while addressing potential regulatory overlaps.
  • Specify and harmonise requirements for the substantiation of explicit environmental claims and facilitate the development of EU-wide recognised methodologies.
  • Ensure that communication requirements draw on workable information access across the supply chain and prevent unnecessary double assessment.
  • Preserve a level-playing field by introducing clear safeguards and commit to standardisation efforts for the verification of claims and labels.
  • Allow for a workable implementation period and define balanced responsibilities to ensure easier compliance with the rules.
  • Address the Proposal’s deficiencies in the treatment of second-hand products to make sure that the sector continues its growth.

You can access the full position paper here.

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