DRAFT GUIDELINES FOR GREENWASHING (Syllabus: GS Paper 3 – Economy)

News-CRUX-10     21st February 2024        
output themes

Context: The Central Consumer Protection Authority has sought public comments on Draft Guidelines for Prevention and Regulation of Greenwashing.


Greenwashing

  • About: It refers to the deceptive practice of making false or exaggerated claims about the environmental benefits of a product, service, or organization.
  • Origin: Coined by environmentalist Jay Westerveld in 1986. 
  • Tactics of Greenwashing: Employing environmental imagery, misleading labels, and concealing tradeoffs are common tactics in greenwashing, drawing parallels to the concept of "whitewashing."
  • Effects on Consumers: Greenwashing erodes consumer trust, leading to skepticism about the authenticity of green claims and potential damage to a brand's reputation.

Guidelines of Greenwashing

  • Ensure all environmental claims in ads or communications are fully disclosed, either directly or through technology like QR codes or web links.
  • Avoid selectively presenting data to favorably highlight environmental claims while hiding unfavorable aspects.
  • Clearly define the scope of environmental claims, specifying whether they relate to products, manufacturing processes, packaging, product usage, disposal, services, or service provision processes.
  • Comparative environmental claims that compare one product or service to another must be based on verifiable and relevant data.
  • Substantiate specific environmental claims with credible certification, reliable scientific evidence, and independent third-party verification for authenticity.

Central Consumer Protection Authority (CCPA)

  • About: CCPA is a regulatory body established in 2020 based on the provisions of the Consumer Protection Act, 2019.
  • Establishment: In 2020
  • Control by: Ministry of Consumer Affairs.
  • Composition: Chief Commissioner as head, and only two other commissioners as members.
  • Objective: To promote, protect and enforce the rights of consumers as a class.
  • Powers of the Authority: Section 21 of the Act defines the powers given to the CCPA to crack down on false or misleading advertisements.
Samadhaan