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Greenwashing, B (Corp) gone

5 April, 2024

Greenwashing and the battle against misleading environmental claims from businesses is in the news. Misleading claims and ambiguous labelling are unhelpful, prevent consumers from making informed decisions about what they buy, and erode their trust in the possibility of genuine environmental progress. However, in recent years clearer guidance and stricter regulation of environmental claims has begun to address this.

Recently, the CMA concluded its investigation into greenwashing among fashion firms, specifically ASOS, Boohoo and George at Asda. After the revelation that their glossy promises of eco-friendliness weren’t as green as they appeared, the businesses have now signed formal agreements committing them to an agreed set of rules around the use of green claims. In the EU, we have the adoption of the Green Claims Directive, which sets out the rules companies must comply with when making voluntary green claims (similar to the UK’s Green Claims Code), and amended consumer protection laws around environmental labelling to further protect customers from falling victim to greenwashing. It seems like the legislators are on the case.

Despite these positive developments, consumers would be right to have lost faith in green claims and labels attached to the things they buy. That’s why, as a proud B Corp ourselves, we were encouraged to see consumers have not lost trust in B Corp. According to B Lab UK’s latest survey, awareness, favourability and trust in the B Corp certification is on the rise, with 23% of respondents feeling more favourable about B Corp than six months previously and 85% trusting that the certification is credible.

B-Corp certification is emerging as the gold standard for sustainability labelling. As we surface from the celebrations of B Corp Month, we look forward to seeing how B Lab continues to build the credibility of the badge as it grows.

By Lucy Bell

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