Published on: November 21, 2023
NEWS – Advertising Standards Council of India (ASCI) proposes guidelines to check greenwashing in ads
ALL YOU HAVE TO KNOW
- Aim: To ensure that advertisers’ green claims are true and evidence-based + to bring transparency and accountability in environmental claims-based advertising + aim to check greenwashing
- Focus areas: various green claims, including positive impact on environment, carbon offset, and biodegradable claims
- Guidelines state that
- Absolute claims such as ‘environment friendly’, ‘eco-friendly’ ‘sustainable’, and ‘planet friendly’ must be supported by a “high level of substantiation”
- Specify whether the environmental claim refers to the entire product, packaging or service
- Advertisers must disclose if the reduction in emission will occur only in two years or over a longer time period in the case of carbon offset claims
- Cannot make carbon offset-related claims that represent an emission reduction that is required by law
- Green claims must be based on the “full life cycle” of the advertised product or service
- Claims that are based on only part of an advertised product or service’s life cycle must not mislead consumers about the total environmental impact of the product or service
- Certifications and Seals of Approval should make clear which attributes of the product or service have been evaluated by the certifier, and the basis of such certification provided. Certifications and seals used in an advertisement should be from a nationally or internationally recognised certifying authority
- Process of conveying a false impression or misleading information about how a company’s products are environmentally sound.
- For example, a car vendor claims that a vehicle is eco-friendly because it is more fuel-efficient while failing to mention or consider the larger industrial impact of vehicle manufacturing on the environment.
ADVERTISING STANDARDS COUNCIL OF INDIA (ASCI):
- Voluntary self-regulatory organisation of the advertising industry in India.
- Established in 1985
- Seeks to ensure that advertisements conform to its Code for Self-Regulation, which requires advertisements to be legal, decent, honest, truthful, and not hazardous or harmful while observing fairness in competition