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25 July 2023

High-end Car Manufacturer found to have engaged in Greenwashing

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It has, during the past decade, become a key vocal point for companies to engage in sustainability actions by striving to have their products and services have less of an environmental impact. The process is born by the heightened focus by consumers on the global environmental challenges and a wish to be ‘greener’. Further, as part of the EU’s Green Deal, the EU has implemented and proposed a wide range of sustainability legislation during the past years, which further draws attention to the subject.

The increased focus on these important topics is reflected in marketing and branding initiatives initiated by companies. With these new marketing efforts, some companies have been promoting themself in a more environmentally friendly light than what the actual circumstances can support, as having a green image can, for the above reasons, have a strong value for companies; this is known as greenwashing.

Greenwashing is problematic for multiple reasons; it misleads the consumers into spending money on products or services which they may otherwise not have bought. Further, greenwashing can hamper the green transition and innovation, as it makes it less effective for companies to innovate. For the same reason, the subject of greenwashing has gained political attention, notably with the Danish parliament passing a bill early in 2022 seeking to double the punishment for engaging in greenwashing, and even providing the possibility for imposing prison sentences on responsible persons. Subsequently, the Danish Consumer Ombudsman stated that she onwards would begin to report greenwashing to the police, rather than issuing statements, which previously has been the common practice

Pernille Nørkær

Partner

+45 30 37 96 40

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Henrik Ringgaard Diget

Associate

+45 30 37 96 81

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