Advertising Standards and the New Environmental Legislation

Advertising Standards and the New Environmental Legislation

The Advertising Standards Authority recently announced significantly stricter standards, to eliminate misleading environmental claims. Social responsibility is important for any business, and this new legislation helps in tackling greenwashing and removing unsubstantiated claims such as 'good for the planet'.  

We discuss how companies can use these standards to ensure they are putting the right message forward when it comes to sustainable business. 

What are Advertising Standards? 

These are the legal guidelines that govern the creation of advertisements. Standards are put in place to ensure advertisers are not making misleading claims, or falsely advertising.  

How does new Environmental Legislation affect Businesses? 

To comply with advertising standards, any environmental claims must be truthful, accurate, unambiguous, and substantiated. Any comparisons must be fair and meaningful, and you must consider the full life cycle of the product or service. 

As a business, it is important to be aware of the potential for greenwashing and take steps to avoid it. 

Be Specific – Avoid vague language or unverifiable claims. Be specific about how your product is environmentally friendly and include specific data or certifications to back it up. It must be clear which aspect of a product or service the environmental claim belongs to.   

Third-party Verification – Certifications or independent audits can be used to help back up your environmental claims.  

Transparency – It is important to be transparent about your environmental practises and policies, by including information about things such as your supply chain, energy and water conservation efforts, waste reduction strategies or disclosing current environmental impacts associated with products. Be honest about any areas in which you can improve and demonstrate the commitment to improvement.  

Businesses can also work to educate consumers on environmental issues and help them make informed choices. 

For many organisations, the new guidelines may require a major shift in communications and language used across brand media. However, the challenge is a worthwhile advancement to more ethical and transparent business climate behaviour. 

In conclusion, complying with environmental legislation regarding advertising standards is essential for businesses that want to appeal to environmentally conscious consumers. By being truthful, transparent, and substantiating their claims, businesses can focus on building trust with their customers and build an honest foundation towards achieving their environmental ambitions. 

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