EU Green Claims Directive: finding a balanced approach for European Hospitality

On March 2023, the Commission proposed common criteria against greenwashing and misleading environmental claims. The objective is to tackle false declarations by providing consumers with reliable and comparable information on companies’ activities and sustainable practices.

In our recent position paper, HOTREC expressed support for a comprehensive EU framework that protects consumers and businesses from greenwashing, ensures legal certainty, and fosters fair competition within the Single Market. It is crucial that such a framework maintains a sense of proportionality and balance: as such, it should be easy for companies to comply with and effectively communicate their choices to consumers.

We believe that the current Commission proposal would bring extra costs and administrative burdens to companies – particularly to small and medium-sized enterprises (SMEs). Consequently, it is essential to thoroughly assess the impact of the current proposal on businesses.

To alleviate these burdens, HOTREC proposes as its preferred approach to eliminating the requirement for third-party verification for all companies. Instead, companies would adhere to the legislative requirements independently and provide a declaration of compliance. Member States would conduct random checks, and any violations would result in penalties and liability for the companies.

As an alternative solution, if the first option proves unfeasible, HOTREC suggests applying an alternative scheme to at least all SMEs. Regardless of the preferred approach, we believe SMEs would benefit from mandatory financial, organisational and technical support.

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