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New rules for "green" business

[Thursday 19 February 2009]

Lord Philip Hunt said: "Consumers are often confronted with all sorts of 'green' claims by companies and products. Working with industry and updating the 'Green Claims' Code will support business to ensure that their claims are genuine and meaningful.

Lord Philip Hunt - Minister for Sustainable Development

THE GOVERNMENT is to set up a new task-force to ensure that businesses advertising so-called “green” products are actually helping the environment and not simply jumping onto a fashionable band-wagon to increase sales. And although it does not actually say as much directly, it reflects fears in the environment department Defra that there are many shady businesses out there using the “green” label fraudulently.

Lord Philip Hunt, the Minister for Sustainable Development, yesterday announced a steering group to update Defra's 'Green Claims' Code.

The code was devised to assist businesses to advertise their green products and services with confidence and help protect consumers from bogus or inaccurate claims. The code was last updated in 2003 but due to the massive growth in the market for 'green' products, the code now needs revising to support businesses and ensure the broad range of environmental claims they make are accurate, truthful and relevant.

The updated version will address gaps in the current guidance to keep pace with the vast range of claims made about products and services.

By supporting the development of genuine claims, the code will seek to boost consumer confidence in buying 'green' products and services.

Lord Philip Hunt said: "Consumers are often confronted with all sorts of 'green' claims by companies and products. Working with industry and updating the 'Green Claims' Code will support business to ensure that their claims are genuine and meaningful. It will also reassure consumers that when a green claim is made, they can feel confident it is truthful."

Defra will be engaging with wider industry and businesses through workshops and meetings and will be making further announcements about the code's developments in the autumn of 2009.

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