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Green Claims Working Group – Summary and Recording

What are green claims and how will the new legislation affect the blue bioeconomy? That was the question for our joint working group meeting! We were very happy to have four speakers online providing their perspectives and knowledge on the different aspects of the green claims.  

Starting with the policy and legal aspects, Eva Funcken from DG ENVI gave a great overview of the proposed EU directive, clarifying the timeline, target markets (B2C), focus areas (substantiation, communication, labelling and verification), exemptions of microenterprises, and connection to other legal frameworks such as the Unfair Commercial Practices Directive and consumer protection framework. Christine Konnertz-Häußler from GPKH Rechtsanwälte provided some insight in how green claims are already now regulated in German law, such as what can be claimed, what information has to be communicated with the claims and differentiation between courts on cases which creates some unclarities.  

Morten Heide from NOFIMA explained the use of sustainability in go-to-market strategies, using examples of two current projects looking at the European algae market, SeaMark and AlgaeProBANOS. However, it is clear that the aspect of sustainability varies, and it can be related to different parts of the life cycle, such as cultivation, production or use. Also, sustainability can mean provision of ecosystem services, reduction of impact or avoidance of impacts, which creates a challenge with using sustainability as a marketing strength. Jean-Baptiste Thomas from KTH deepened this with an outline on the complexity of scientifically sound greed claims and what goes into a quantification, such as an LCA, and how these can differ depending on system choices, what sustainability factors are taken into consideration, and such simple differences as units of expression. 

There were also many good questions asked by the audience. What claims can we use to promote a sustainable blue bioeconomy? Also, when making a claim, what is the baseline of comparison? As a conclusion, the subject is difficult and complex, and we look very much forward to follow how the proposal develops. 

You can watch a recording of the working group meeting here.

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