Greenwashing is no longer a marginal phenomenon, but a global phenomenon that increasingly concerns consumers. Misleading environmental claims that companies or states use to suggest a green image have prompted the European Union to take action (European Green Claims). But how is the EU tackling this issue and what role do companies like Helvezia Pharma & Medical Care AG, which are consciously committed to sustainability, play?
The EU is Fighting Against Greenwashing
European consumers should no longer be victims of advertising that presents products as environmentally friendly when they are not sustainable at all. In a groundbreaking decision, representatives from the EU Parliament and member states have agreed to ban advertising that contains misleading environmental claims. This step is part of new product regulations aimed at curbing greenwashing. It is part of a European directive that must then be transposed into national law.
The agreement includes that terms such as „environmentally friendly“, „biodegradable“, „carbon-neutral“, or „eco“ can only be used if they can be proven. Statements that are based solely on emission offset systems are prohibited. These measures are intended to ensure that ecological information on products corresponds to reality. The EU law on green claims aims to prevent greenwashing and protect consumers and companies. It introduces new rules to prevent misleading claims about the environmental benefits of products and services. 53 percent of environmental claims contain misleading or unsubstantiated information, and trust in such claims is very low.
The Challenge of the Diversity of Environmental Labels
So far, there are over 200 different environmental labels in Europe, each based on different methods. The EU plans to reduce this diversity and only allow sustainability labels that are based on official certification systems or introduced by the government. This is intended to minimize consumer confusion about the meaning of these labels and seals.
Even Countries Love Greenwashing
The New York Times highlighted the topicality of the issue in early December 2023. The author Alex Simon describes „In Dubai, a ‘Good Vibes Only’ Approach to Climate Change“, which illustrates the contradictory attitude of the United Arab Emirates (UAE), and especially Dubai, towards climate change. He reports on his visit to Dubai and Abu Dhabi and observes a striking discrepancy between ecological propaganda and actual environmental policies. Against the backdrop of the COP28 climate conference taking place in Dubai these weeks, the UAE presents the environmental crisis as urgent, but at the same time emphasizes that the solution lies in innovation and investment, without the need for fundamental changes in lifestyle. This philosophy is particularly present in the Gulf Petrostates. The UAE strives to prolong its dependence on hydrocarbons while positioning itself as a leader in sustainability.
However, there are clear contradictions: On the one hand, the UAE promotes the protection of mangrove forests for carbon sequestration, but on the other hand, it destroys marine ecosystems through the construction of artificial islands. In addition, the quality of life in the country heavily depends on climate-harmful technologies such as air conditioning and seawater desalination plants, with renewable energy accounting for only 7 percent of the energy supply. The article also highlights the ambitions of Saudi Arabia, which exhibits similar contradictions regarding environmental protection and oil production. Both countries, as well as the United States, are criticized for promoting environmental initiatives while expanding their oil production. Doing more and talking less is the motto of the New York Times in the article; these thoughts also form the basis of the EU initiative.
The Role of Companies: Helvezia Pharma & Medical Care AG
One company actively committed to sustainability is Helvezia Pharma & Medical Care AG. Their focus on energy efficiency, renewable energy, reusable materials, and indoor cultivation reflects their commitment to promoting closed loops and efficient resource utilization. Through transparent practices throughout the entire value chain, Helvezia AG ensures sustainable products for its customers.
European Union and Companies: United Against Greenwashing
EU measures are not only aimed at regulating companies but also at better informing consumers. The introduction of clear guidelines and labeling based on official standards is an important step. This not only creates transparency but also allows consumers to make informed decisions.
Consumer Responsibility: Conscious Consumption and Research
However, it is not solely the responsibility of the EU and companies to combat greenwashing. Consumers should intensify their research, use independent sources, and not rely solely on a company’s environmentally friendly claims. Protecting against greenwashing requires a joint commitment from consumers, companies, and government institutions.
Together for a Sustainable Future
Greenwashing is not just a marketing trick, but a serious obstacle on the path to a sustainable future. The European Union is vigorously addressing this issue, establishing clear rules and promoting transparency. Companies like Helvezia Pharma & Medical Care AG demonstrate that sustainability can be more than just a buzzword but a guiding principle. In a time when conscious consumption is becoming increasingly important, it is up to all of us to join forces against greenwashing and shape a more sustainable future.
Author: Dr. Rainer Schreiber / Instructor, Adult Education & Personnel Consultant
About the Author:
Personnel consultant and freelance instructor Dr. Rainer Schreiber, with a degree in business administration focusing on financing, controlling, and personnel and training. The blog schreiber-bildung.de offers topics related to education, further education, and career opportunities.
About Helvezia Pharma & Medical Care AG
Helvezia Pharma & Medical Care AG is a family-owned company based in Steinhausen, Switzerland. The company specializes in EU-GMP-compliant production of natural active substances and focuses on exclusive supply of the pharmaceutical and cosmetic industry with high-quality active and pure substances. More information about Helvezia Pharma & Medical Care AG at: https://helvezia.ag/
Helvezia Pharma & Medical Care AG
+41 41 749 97 05
Contact Person: Ridvan Abay