Impacts of the EU’s Green Claims Initiative in Finland

The aim of the project is to assess the impacts of the European Commission's Green Claims initiative in Finland and to support the working group in the field of green claims. The project will produce an analysis of the expected impacts of the European Commission's soon-to-be-published green claims proposal and develop a methodology for assessing the appropriateness of green claims. The project includes a workshop for stakeholders.


Reliable and comparable environmental information is needed both on the production side in the ecodesign of products (eg. In the Nordic countries, Salo et al.2019) and in companies buying products on the demand side, public procurement and household purchases (Nissinen et al.2019, EC 2020, Suikkanen & Nissinen 2020). The number of unverified environmental claims is alarmingly high: Palm et al. (2019) found 56 different eco-labels for textiles on the Nordic market, of which 37 were unverified claims made by the company itself. In the Europe-wide 'sweep' carried out in November 2020, in 59% of cases, the seller had not provided easily accessible evidence for its environmental claims and in 42% the authority had reason to suspect that the claim was questionable. In Finnish online advertisements, about half (49%) of the claims have been found to be unspecified generalizations and inappropriate more than half (56%)(Heinonen & Nissinen, 2022). It can therefore be estimated that misleading claims significantly erode fair competition and undermine the potential of companies making genuine environmental improvements. Misleading claims also undermine consumers' ability to make the better choices they want and undermine consumer confidence in all claims.


The EU Commission is currently working on ways to better manage environmental claims ('Green Claims Initiative', EC 2020b, and 'Empowering Consumer Initiative', EC 2020c). Both the Green Deal (EC, 2019) and the Circular Economy Plan (EC, 2020) point to the need to verify green claims. In December 2021, the European Commission published a Communication recommending the use of the Product Environmental Footprint methodology in the environmental impact assessment of products (EC, 2021). In 2023, the European Commission is expected to publish its proposal on green claims, which will essentially involve the use of the Product Environmental Footprint methodology. The aim of the proposal is to promote the use of a uniform methodology and thus the comparability of the environmental impact of parental products and the verifiability of the use of green claims.

Published 2023-02-06 at 10:59, updated 2023-02-06 at 11:28