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Greenwashing: Risks of Misleading Claims

Greenwashing: Risks of Misleading Claims

Slovakia
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Greenwashing is an umbrella term for misleading environmental claims. A claim is any promotional communication that can be communicated in advertisements, marketing materials, product manuals, prospectuses for investors, recruitments ads, annual reports, on packaging or brands themselves.

A claim is misleading if it is inaccurate or omits or conceals information or creates the impression that activities or products are less harmful or more beneficial to the environment than they are.

Even today, it is possible to find a legal basis in the field of consumer protection and regulations governing advertising that prohibits misleading claims related to the environment. At the same time, two specific directives are being prepared at the EU level: the directive on claims related to the environment and the directive on strengthening the position of consumers in the framework of the green transformation, an agreement already having been reached on the final wording of the latter directive.

Businesses are exposed to many risks when using misleading claims: damage to reputation, criticism on social media, campaigns by non-governmental organisations, product boycotts. However, they can also lead to advertising bans, fines and other penalties, as well as claims for damages. Before publishing a claim, it is therefore advisable to check its veracity, completeness, scientific basis, credibility of the certification and its comparability ("green alternative"), and avoid general claims such as "green", "sustainable" or "ethical", as they are difficult to prove.

Eversheds Sutherland at a Glance

Eversheds Sutherland with offices in Bratislava and Prague and as part of an international network, provides comprehensive legal advice also in foreign jurisdictions.

Our team consists of a total of more than 40 lawyers in the Czech Republic and Slovakia, most of whom have previously worked at major international and local law firms and have extensive experience in particular in the areas of corporate law, including mergers and acquisitions, capital markets, real estate, employment law, competition law, litigation and arbitration, energy, infrastructure, as well as environmental and ESG law.

Our advisory services are offered in Slovak, German, Czech and English language. Members of our team include attorneys registered with the Austrian Bar Association. On this basis, and because we are part of Eversheds Sutherland, we are also able to offer extensive legal support on various foreign legal issues.

We listen to our clients, we understand their business and we also understand what they need. So we can always find the best solution for the particular situation. We work quickly, efficiently and take responsibility for our work.

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