For the first time an Italian court has ruled on an appeal against a greenwashing case. The ordinance is clear: the dissemination of sustainability claims not supported by data and certifications is punishable

The law firm LCA on 10 December announced the victory in the first urgent appeal against greenwashing in Italy during a press conference in the Milan office. The result is a precautionary order of the Court of Gorizia against the company Miko, guilty of having misleadingly communicated the Dinamica product, a man-made fabric used in furniture and automotive. Another step towards true sustainability.

It is forbidden to be vague about sustainability

"Ecological microfiber", "environmentally friendly", "recyclable": all terms that lead customers to believe something that is not actually. The order of the Court of Gorizia states that product sustainability declarations must be verified and certified. These are communications other than purely advertising, which heavily affect customer choices. The punishment for Miko is exemplary: communication of the order on your site.

Anyone can appeal

The proceeding was triggered by an appeal by Alcantara, for some time committed against greenwashing - in October it organized the sixth symposium against greenwashing in Venice in collaboration with Venice International University and the Social Impact Agenda for Italy. Greenwashing, in addition to defrauding consumers, damages companies that invest energy and economic resources in the ecological transition.

The second good news is therefore that anyone can appeal, if motivated, for greenwashing. In some way does this make consumers less passive in purchasing choices? According to the lawyer Gianluca De Cristofaro, who dealt with the Alcantara appeal, it is not the buyer who has to ask himself questions. If anything, however, it must be protected by the transparency of companies.

There are many companies that do greenwashing

Greenwashing is a long-standing and complex issue. A survey by the European Commission in 2021 made it clear the seriousness of the phenomenon: out of 344 claims on company websites, 42% were exaggerated, false or misleading. “There is no ecological transition without science,” said Elena Stoppioni, president of Save the Planet APS during the press conference.

Only in-depth knowledge of the industrial sectors and the life cycle of a product guarantee sensible strategic choices in terms of sustainability. And, consequently, a non-misleading communication, based on scientific data, certifications of recognized bodies. The vagueness and vagueness of the statements are banned.

The Italian law is effective and this sentence will make jurisprudence

The ruling is based on highly articulated and effective legislation, according to Elena Stoppioni. And it underlines a clear stance towards greenwashing. Among other things, a practice responsible for many false beliefs and misconceptions about what is sustainable and what is not. Elena Stoppioni also underlines the importance of adequate training of professional figures capable of rational choices in companies. The circulation of information is vital, so much so that Save the Planet solicits collaborations and comparisons and provides a document that facilitates the reporting of cases that will be analyzed, one by one, to verify any crimes.