In light of the recent Glasgow COP 26, the drive towards sustainable business is accelerating and more businesses than ever are putting sustainability at the centre of their commercial strategy. This rapid rise in focus is bringing another challenge to the fore – managing ‘greenwashing’.
The Green Claims Code is a new guideline document that aims to tackle the surging challenge of greenwashing by creating a standardised set of principles that all environmental claims must adhere to. The implementation of this guidance is a great example of why authentically sustainable packaging must be top of the agenda for brands of every size and category.
At Eco Flexibles, our team specialises in helping brands switch from their existing packaging formats to more sustainable alternatives. This includes lightweight and recyclable flexible packaging designs that do not compromise on performance.
What is greenwashing – and why does it matter?
Affecting businesses across sectors and industries, products and services alike, greenwashing is the practice of over-using, exaggerating or misrepresenting sustainability claims.
Greenwashing can be found across business operations, from product packaging to corporate websites and literature. The term itself was coined back in 1986 and, as the environment climbs to the top of the public agenda, greenwashing is becoming a more prominent issue.
The problem with greenwashing is that ‘sustainability’ becomes meaningless noise for the consumer – the term is losing its meaning and commercial impact. When the playing field isn’t level, shoppers are not getting a clear or honest picture of how their product choices are affecting the environment.
The Green Claims Code
To challenge the problem of greenwashing, the UK’s Competition and Markets Authority (CMA) has issued new guidelines that change how sustainability claims are communicated. The code aims to provide new consumer protections, as well as create more transparency in B2B procurement.
The guidance provides six simple principles that all claims must meet, as well as examples of how to apply them. Sustainability claims:
- Must be truthful and accurate
- Must be clear and unambiguous
- Must not omit or hide important relevant information
- Must make comparisons fair and meaningful
- Must consider the full life cycle of the product or service
- Must be substantiated
By setting a clearer benchmark for brand owners, the Green Claims Code aims to level the playing field and bring meaning back to the term ‘sustainability’. Notably, the code is not new legislation in and of itself, it draws on existing regulatory enforcement powers. Plus, while the Green Claims Code is only applicable to the UK market, similar schemes are forming across the European market affecting those businesses operating internationally.
From 2022, the CMA will be reviewing and scrutinising new and existing sustainability claims to ensure that all externally communicated claims meet the above criteria. Claims that do not meet the minimum standard will be referred to other regulatory bodies, such as Trading Standards.
The intention of the guidance document aligns perfectly with our ethos at Eco Flexibles. We believe that sustainability must be more than surface level, and that packaging has a central role to play in the protecting the future of the planet.
Let Eco Flexibles help
There’s never been a better time to explore the benefits of partnering with Eco Flexibles to create more demonstrably sustainable packaging. As the Green Claims looks set to toughen regulation on sustainability claims, Eco Flexibles can make packaging one less thing for brands to worry about.
With comprehensive testing and accreditation – all handled by the Eco Flexibles team – brand owners can rest assured that the recyclate containing, recyclable or recycle-ready packaging they use is responsibly manufactured without any compromise in quality or barrier performance, making sustainability claims simpler to back up and more measurable.
Combining many years of sector expertise, Eco Flexibles rewrites the sustainable packaging rules to simplify the process. While brands are still finding the transition from their existing flexible packaging formats to more sustainable alternatives to be complicated and costly, Eco Flexibles handles packaging projects from concept to completion.
The business believes that sustainable flexible packaging shouldn’t be a compromise or a concession – it can be a real competitive edge. Contrary to what many brands think, the transition can also be simple and cost-effective. Eco Flexibles supports its customers by developing bespoke recyclable mono polymer films, alongside its collection of ‘plug and play’ off-the-shelf products, including lidding films, skin films, pouches, and VFFS and HFFS film-on-a-reel packaging.
Get in touch with our team to discover more about Eco Flexibles and how its collection of sustainable packaging solutions can support brands with Green Claims Code alignment. Revolutionising the packaging design and supply process, Eco Flexibles challenges the packaging sector to think differently – and its fresh approach to sustainability is designed to drive long term value for brands and their supply chains!