The Competition and Markets Authority (CMA) is conducting research into green marketing. Can you help it gather evidence? Our guest explains more.
This is a guest post by Cecilia Parker Aranha. All views expressed are Cecilia’s own and not necessarily shared by Which?.
When shopping, do you check how what you are buying was made, in order to ensure that little or no harm was done to the environment? Perhaps you look for the recycle label because you don’t want the packaging to go to landfill.
Does this information affect your choice of which item to buy? If so, the Competition and Markets Authority (CMA) would like to hear from you.
We’ve launched a project to investigate whether descriptions and labels used to promote products and services claiming to be ‘eco-friendly’ can mislead consumers.
🌱 We’re going to investigate how ‘eco-friendly’ products and services are marketed.
We’re concerned people could be paying for things that are less #ecofriendly than they think, due to misleading environmental claims.
— Competition & Markets Authority (@CMAgovUK) November 2, 2020
We are also interested in whether information that’s left out can also lead to people buying goods and services thinking they are more sustainable than they actually are.
Ethical goods and services
In 2019, UK consumers spent £41 billion a year on ethical goods and services – almost 4 times as much as people spent two decades ago. Increasing numbers of people are quite rightly concerned about the environment and want to play their part by being greener.
We want to better understand the impact of green marketing on consumers – and this is where you come in.
Whether or not you pay close attention to environmental claims and labelling, we would love to hear from you. Our online questionnaire is easy to fill in and should take around 10 minutes.
Having your say on this can help us ensure that in the future businesses give consumers the best information possible.
Examples of misleading behaviour could include:
🍃 Exaggerating the positive environmental impact of a product or service
🍃 Using complex or jargon-heavy language
🍃 Implying that items are eco-friendly through packaging and logos when this is not true
We’re looking to hear about any goods or services where you’ve encountered ‘eco-friendly’ claims, but areas where we think people might be particularly concerned about the environmental impact of what they buy include:
🍃 Food and drink
🍃 Beauty products
🍃 Cleaning products
After we have gathered evidence, we plan to publish guidance for businesses next Summer to help them support the transition to a low carbon economy without misleading consumers.
If we find evidence that businesses are misleading consumers, we’ll take appropriate action.
So if you want to have your say, please do take a look at our questionnaire. We also welcome and will pick up comments made beneath this article to help inform the project. Many thanks!
This was a guest post by Cecilia Parker Aranha. All views expressed were Cecilia’s own and not necessarily shared by Which?.