The Green Claims Directive: how automated LCA can help

The European Union is taking significant steps to ensure that green claims made by companies are genuine and verifiable. The Green Claims Directive establishes clear rules for companies to verify claims about their products’ sustainability benefits.

In this blog, discover what the Green Claims Directive is, how it affects companies, and how Root’s automated Life Cycle Assessment (LCA) platform can ensure compliance with this regulation and empower companies to make authentic green claims.

PUBLISHED: 27 June 2024

WRITTEN BY: Charlie Walter

What is the Green Claims Directive and why is it so important?

The Green Claims Directive aims to prevent false or misleading advertising about products’ sustainability benefits. It combats greenwashing, which is when companies make unsubstantiated sustainability claims to sell products or services. The directive sets strict criteria for proving green claims, thereby enhancing consumer trust and promoting genuine environmental sustainability.

To comply with this directive, companies must provide robust evidence to support their green claims. The directive applies to all EU companies making business-to-consumer green claims, except small businesses with fewer than 10 employees and annual revenue under €2 million. The Green Claims Directive is part of the broader European Green Deal strategy to reduce greenwashing and help consumers make greener choices. The directive is in the final stages of approval. Once finalised, EU countries have two years to incorporate it into their national laws and companies will need to comply within three years.

How does this regulation impact companies?

The Green Claims Directive impacts companies by requiring them to:

  • Gather Environmental Data: Businesses must collect comprehensive environmental data across their product’s supply chain including raw material extraction, manufacturing, transportation, usage and end-of-life.
  • Substantiate Claims with Robust Evidence: Companies must use scientific evidence and a Life Cycle Assessment approach to prove their green claims, identifying all relevant impacts throughout the product’s life cycle. Comparative claims must use the same methodology and data and companies must disclose whether carbon credits or certifications are used as part of the green claim.
  • Verify Claims: Companies must have their claims verified by accredited third-party organisations, with regular checks by public authorities to uphold this requirement.

Non-compliance can result in fines, damage to brand reputation and loss of stakeholder trust.

The power of automated LCA

LCA systematically evaluates the environmental aspects of a product or service throughout its entire life cycle. LCAs are essential for complying with the Green Claims Directive, providing robust methodology and scientific data to support green claims. Traditional LCA methods are often too complex, time-consuming and expensive, focusing on one product at a time. This makes it difficult for businesses to gather all the necessary environmental data to make a green claim that complies with the regulation.

This is where Root steps in. Root’s automated LCA platform simplifies compliance by managing thousands of product footprints at once. It generates robust, comprehensive data to support green claims that meet the Green Claims Directive’s requirements. By automating the LCA process, Root speeds up data collection and analysis, enhancing the reliability of green claims and supporting companies in their marketing efforts.

While the Green Claims Directive does not mandate LCA, it requires companies to master life cycle data for raw materials, products, transport, usage and end-of-life. This aligns with the principles of ISO 14040/14044 standards. Consequently, to comply with this regulation, companies must take an LCA approach to make a green claim. Root follows ISO 14040/14044 standards so companies can use Root to make a compliant green claim.

How can Root help with compliance?

Root helps companies comply with the Green Claims Directive by:

  • Quantifying Impacts: Root’s platform gathers the environmental data required by the Green Claims Directive for each stage of the product’s life cycle, facilitating compliant green claims.
  • Identifying Hotspots: Root provides data on environmental impacts and risks, helping companies identify improvement areas. By highlighting these hotspots, Root ensures continuous monitoring and improvement of environmental performance, supporting ongoing compliance with the Green Claims Directive.
  • Ensuring Transparency: Root creates transparent data needed to make green claims, meeting third-party verification requirements and providing information on how the LCA methodology used aligns with ISO 14040/14044 standards.

We can help

Root’s vision is to redefine the norm by making product footprints universal. Our platform conducts LCA for all products, helping businesses report effectively on regulations, avoid greenwashing, become industry leaders and grow.

Root partners with companies to ensure compliance with CSRD and CSDDD. Our automated LCA platform provides detailed environmental data for reporting, provides insights for double materiality assessments, maps supply chains and aids in developing and monitoring due diligence processes.

Interested to learn more? Get in touch with our team to discover how Root can help you achieve compliance and drive sustainable growth.

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