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Half of environmental claims about products are full of crap, says EU

Draft paper calls out businesses for vagueness

Around half of environmental claims made about advertised products are "vague, misleading or unfounded information about products' environmental characteristics," says research from the European Commission.

Of hundreds of claims assessed in 2020, 53 per cent were not entirely accurate, according to a draft document seen by the Financial Times. "Climate-related claims have been shown to be particularly prone to being unclear and ambiguous and to mislead consumers, amounting to greenwashing," the draft reportedly said.

The move is part of a proposed amendment to the Unfair Commercial Practices Directive floated last year, with the aim of stamping out "generic, vague environmental claims where the excellent environmental performance of the product or trader cannot be demonstrated."

The Register has gone to the European Commission for clarification.

The European Union is proposing a new set of regulations which could offer a framework to assess the environmental impacts of products, against which claims such as "100 percent recycled" or made from "all-natural" ingredients could be judged.

Packaging waste and the repairability of laptops and phones are set to be within scope of the new rules in a move aimed at reducing their environmental impact in the EU.

Meanwhile, tech investment is seemingly still prioritized over corporate environmental goals, especially in straitened economic times. Research by Regina Corso Consulting found that while 95 percent of companies consider sustainability a top or high priority, 84 percent said it was ranked lower than commercial objectives in tougher economic times.

The good news for tech pros is that IT investment remains buoyant as 69 percent of CEOs are planning to divert resources from other areas into their digital transformation efforts, and 27 percent say they have enough in the budget already, according to a survey of 2,088 IT professionals in the UK, US, Canada, Germany and France, commissioned by German enterprise software company Software AG. ®

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