Trading Standards issues 'Greenwash' warning
Tuesday, December 7, 2021
Lancashire residents are being warned about the growing number of companies making misleading claims about how environmentally friendly their products and services are.
Trading standards experts are issuing the advice to coincide with National Consumer Week, which runs until Sunday 12 December.
The theme of this year's campaign is 'misleading environmental and energy efficiency claims'.
Lancashire County Council is supporting the campaign locally by encouraging people not to fall for 'Greenwashing', where companies use marketing to make out that a product is more environmentally friendly than it actually is.
County Councillor Peter Buckley, cabinet member for community and cultural services, said: "Companies have become quick to catch-on to the importance of their products being environmentally friendly.
"This is obviously a huge selling-point, with people rightly being concerned that what they're buying won't damage our planet or increase the amount of CO2.
"Although many companies are environmentally friendly, there are also some which use 'Greenwashing', making claims about products being 'Net carbon zero' when they aren't.
"We want people to be aware of this and consider whether some claims are too good to be true. Looking out for eco labelled products can help people ensure they are buying an environmentally friendly product."
Eco labels are marked on products and include the Energy Star, BREEAM code and Green Seal.
The council is also warning people to beware of green scams and rogue traders.
This comes amid recent reports of cold callers in Chorley offering 'free' energy measures such as loft insulation, cavity wall insulation and boiler replacement.
County Councillor Buckley added: "Although sellers often mislead people saying these measures are 'free', there are strict eligibility criteria that they don't go into on the doorstep. This means many people may have to pay a lot of money towards the work that may not always meet the required standards.
"We'd always advise people not to do business with cold callers and do their research before signing up to any green scheme. Visit the Cosy Homes Lancashire website for more information."
County Councillor Shaun Turner, cabinet member for environment and climate change, said: "Climate change is a huge challenge and it's vital we all play our part to tackle it.
"The products we buy are a key part of this, but it's important you consider what you're buying carefully to ensure it's as good for our planet as the manufacturers are making out.
"If you're unsure or would like to report a company making false claims about the products or services it cells, contact trading standards via our Citizen's Advice Consumer Helpline."
For more information on energy saving measures, including whether you are eligible for grant support, contact Cosy Homes in Lancashire (CHiL) via www.chil.uk.com or 03306 061 488. CHiL is a partnership set up by the 15 local authorities in Lancashire.
Contact the Lancashire Trading Standards Service via the Citizens Advice Consumer Helpline on 0808 223 1133.