Marketing & advertising

ICC welcomes European Commission’s Green Claims Directive

  • 23 March 2023

ICC has welcomed a recently published European Commission proposal for a directive on substantiation and communication of explicit environmental claims (Green Claims Directive), underscoring the EC’s commitment to combat greenwashing and misleading environmental claims.

There is renewed interest in environmental marketing, particularly in the context of growing momentum on climate action globally, including collective efforts by governments and businesses to mitigate the threats of climate change.

ICC reiterates the importance of a harmonised view on how to substantiate environmental claims and has long standing expertise in helping marketers craft environmental messages that adhere to the basic global principles of truthful, honest and socially responsible communications. To that end, environmental claims must be clear and substantiated by sound scientific evidence.  In this sense, ICC believes that companies communicating aspirational claims to reflect the environmental commitments or climate goals they aim to achieve in future years — such as “net-zero by 2050” – should be able to concretely demonstrate the methodological approach they are using to enable them to meet those commitments.

ICC has been the major rule-setter in international advertising self-regulation since 1937, when the ICC Global Marketing and Advertising Commission issued the first ICC Code of Advertising and Marketing Communications (ICC Marketing Code) – one of the most successful examples of business self-regulation ever developed and which is now undergoing a comprehensive revision. ICC also encourages consideration of its Framework for Responsible Environmental Marketing Communications (the ICC Environmental Framework). Updated in November 2021 the framework provides practical commentary and guidance to help practitioners apply the principles to environmental advertising. Moreover, ICC’s re-branded Environmental Claims Checklist of the Environmental Framework supplements and strengthens the provisions in the main publication. It is an additional resource to help marketers identify when they are making an environmental claim, offering guidance on questions about such claims.

As a leader in responsible marketing worldwide, ICC intends for the ICC Marketing Code and the Environmental Framework to serve as a practical resource for practitioners developing environmental claims and campaigns.

ICC continues its commitment to working with EC and global policymakers to ensure that the basic global principles of truthful, honest and socially responsible communications are recognised and implemented.