Greenwashing and liability

The European Commission and Belgian and European regulators are increasingly actively combating greenwashing, both in the context of consumer protection and financial information.

In June 2022, the FPS Economy published its Guidelines on environmental claims, warning against misleading environmental claims. In 2022, the FPS Economy received 21 reports on greenwashing and in March 2023 launched a "Too green to be true" campaign.

The FSMA has also repeatedly expressed its vigilance regarding the risk of greenwashing by intermediaries and issuers of financial products.

In addition, regulators in our neighboring countries also impose sanctions for communications that mislead the public about the qualities of a product or service or that present a company's activity more favorably in the fight against global warming, without mentioning that other important activities were unfavorable to climate change. When consumers are guided in their choices by the social or environmental claims attached to a product, claims between competitors may also arise for unfair competition. Misleading claims around products and services could also give rise to class actions by consumers against producers and distributors.

Eubelius has extensive expertise in the prevention of greenwashing and the liability that such communications may entail. We advise our clients on the use of appropriate terminology and on the appropriate advertising of their products and services.

Our teams closely follow legal and jurisprudential developments and practices in this area.