International print and packaging marketing specialist, PHD Marketing, has shared insight and perspective on the changes likely to affect packaging suppliers, printers and brands as a result of the Green Claims Code, new guidance published by the UK Government’s Competition and Markets Authority (CMA).
The document aims to tackle the ongoing problem of greenwashing by applying six key principles that all sustainability claims must adhere to. The changes, which cover on-pack, off-pack and digital communications, aim to level the sustainability playing field, increase consumer protections and rebuild trust.
Joanna Stephenson, Managing Director at PHD Marketing, elaborated: “Across the retail industry, we’ve seen sustainability take centre stage even in the tough Covid-19 market conditions and naturally, the topic of packaging dominates a lot of this discussion. With greenwashing and misleading claims, the umbrella term of ‘sustainability’ has lost any edge or marketing punch – it’s just white noise to consumers now. Shoppers want more information and are prepared to dig deeper to understand the true nature and credentials of a product.
“With information available at a touch of button, brands are aware that they have to ‘walk the talk’ in terms of the circular economy and sustainability but communications can become a little fuzzy when the marketing department gets involved. This guidance ensures clarity for all and should drive a new standard in sustainability communications, which brands and retailers, along with their supply chain partners, should welcome.”
The new Green Claims Code provides six simple principles that all claims must adhere to, as well as examples of how to apply them. Sustainability claims:
- Must be truthful and accurate
- Must be clear and unambiguous
- Must not omit or hide important relevant information
- Must make comparisons fair and meaningful
- Must consider the full life cycle of the product or service
- Must be substantiated
PHD Marketing partners with some of the world’s leading print, packaging and labelling businesses to deliver bespoke marketing campaigns in an increasingly crowded market. The business advises its B2B industry clients on best practice in external communications and believes that the Green Claims Code will prove to be a great opportunity for innovative companies and a major cross-sector force for good.
Joanna added: “Sustainable thinking is always at its best when brands view it as an opportunity to ‘do good’, not an obligation or box ticking exercise. We’re proud to work with some of the most innovative print and packaging business around the globe, that demonstrate what an ingenious and resourceful industry we operate in. As an expert in corporate communications, which is the key area influenced by the new CMA directive, we’re excited to see how businesses rise to the occasion, audit their existing sustainability claims and build a stronger, more robust and transparent packaging sector for the future.”