SYKE collects environmental claims in advertising – take part in a research!

Press release 2021-11-15 at 11:58

Did you see or hear an ad that sparked more questions than answers? Finnish Environment Institute SYKE collects environmental claims from the public in a social media campaign between 15th and 19th November. 

The idea of the campaign is to challenge citizens to ask what is decent and truthful environmental marketing and to raise ads as examples of the prevailing current situation.

Bring your observation to SYKE’s research in social media

Carbon neutrality advertised without a decent calculation shown? Some small tricks done and suddenly all the company or production chain is clean and green? Strange labels everywhere? Greenwashing suspected?

Or have you spotted some decent and convincing examples? Please share these as well.

Share your observations and discuss in social media during the campaign week starting 15th November:

  • In Twitter please use hashtag #ympäristöväite.
  • In Facebook and in Instagram comment SYKE posts on the topic.
  • You can also fill an anonym survey at SYKE’s website (in Finnish)
  • Campaign will be active in SYKE social media: Twitter: @SYKEinfo, Facebook: ja Instagram: @sykeresearch.

More knowledge on environmental claims needed

A year ago a common sweep by the European Consumer Protection Cooperation Network found that in 59 % of the cases analyzed the seller didn’t provide enough information and evidence to back up the claim and in 42 % of the cases the authorities had a reason to believe that the claim was false or deceptive

“Over a billion euros are used to advertise yearly in Finland, but we don’t have enough knowledge how much is spent in environmental claims. We also lack knowledge how many and what kind of claims are used. The current SYKE's project is seeking answers to these questions”, says researcher Tero Heinonen from Finnish Environment Institute SYKE.

Regulation on Environmental Claims

The directive on unfair commercial practices (UCPD; 2005/29/EC, amendments 2019/2161) and the Finnish Consumer Protection Act are the core against which to assess any marketing claim, including environmental claims. They ought to be clear, truthful and not misleading, and one cannot give any information which is not true.

The consumer ombudsman has published a guidance for environmental or green marketing and the International Chamber of Commerce has published a Framework for Responsible Environmental Marketing Communications. The EU Commission has (at least) two initiatives on the subject (’Green Claims Initiative’, ja ’Empowering Consumer Initiative’).

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More information

  • Researcher Tero Heinonen, Finnish Environment Institute, tel. 029 525 2123,
  • Communications Specialist Katja Lepistö, Finnish Environment Institute, tel. 0295 252 082,

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