Environmental claims in advertising
Produced in partnership with Sonal Patel of Fieldfisher and David Bond of Fieldfisher
Environmental claims in advertising

The following TMT practice note produced in partnership with Sonal Patel of Fieldfisher and David Bond of Fieldfisher provides comprehensive and up to date legal information covering:

  • Environmental claims in advertising
  • Relevant legislation
  • Consumer Protection from Unfair Trading Regulations 2008
  • Energy Information Regulations 2011
  • Self-regulatory codes
  • CAP Code
  • BCAP Code
  • DEFRA’s Environmental Claims Guidance 2016
  • International Organisation for Standardisation (ISO) 14021:2016
  • Environmental claims initiative
  • More...

This Practice Note summarises the principal controls surrounding the use of environmental claims in advertising and covers the following key areas:

  1. relevant legislation

  2. self-regulatory codes

  3. sanctions for non-compliance

The use of environmental claims in marketing material is increasing as consumers become more educated about the environmental impacts of the products and services they use. Businesses are taking advantage of this new awareness by actively promoting their environmental credentials. These may include claims such as ‘environmentally friendly’ or advertising a product or service as being ‘green’, ‘clean’, or ‘carbon neutral’. While the number of such claims has increased, the Advertising Standards Authority (ASA), the body responsible for policing advertising within the UK, has received a simultaneous increase in the number of complaints relating to environmental claims in advertising.

Relevant legislation

Consumer Protection from Unfair Trading Regulations 2008

The Consumer Protection from Unfair Trading Regulations 2008, SI 2008/1277 (CPUTR 2008) govern all advertising and commercial practices in the UK and apply to any act, omission or any other commercial practice by a business that is involved in the promotion, sale or supply of products (including services) to consumers. The CPUTR 2008 contain a general prohibition on unfair commercial practices, specific prohibitions on misleading or aggressive commercial practices and an exhaustive list of 31 commercial practices that are banned, of which the following are most relevant to environmental claims in advertising:

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