Yes to green advertising, no to greenwashing. How green claims should be is stated in the new article 12 of the Corporate Governance Code for Commercial Communication, which states: “Commercial communication that evokes or declares benefits of an environmental nature must be based on truthful, relevant and scientifically verifiable data. This communication must make it possible to clearly understand which aspect of the advertised product or activity the benefits claimed refer to ".
The Institute of Advertising Discipline has considered the issue green advertising Vs greenwashing important to the point of 'undermining' the previous article 12 of the Code, which following the above insertion has become 12bis and now refers only to the 'safety' of products. The new text of article 12 on green advertising has been titled 'Protection of the natural environment', represents a milestone and gives the figure of the weight achieved by green in communication.
Why so much trouble? Because in fact he was exaggerating with that appropriation of environmental virtues that is greenwashing (the definition is from Wikipedia). Commercial communication plays a particularly useful role in the economic process, as long as it is carried out as a service to the public and with special regard to its influence on the consumer (Article 1 of the Corporate Governance Code). The correctness of the advertising message is a protection both for the consumer and for the companies that invest in advertising.
To paint everything green, to cloak commercial communication with eco-slogans which, however, do not stand up to an in-depth assessment of greenwashing) is not good for consumers or the environment. Nor is it good for companies that really are green and that really invest in sustainable innovation by focusing on green advertising.
Precise, verifiable, credible. The new article 12 emphasizes that in the green advertising the environmental benefits claimed by the products must 'Be based on truthful, relevant and scientifically verifiable data', and that the communication must be clear "to which aspect of the advertised product or activity the benefits claimed refer to", Since generic claims are not eligible. Otherwise it is greenwashing.
The new article 12 of Conduct of self-regulation of commercial communication,as implemented by the IAP, it arises from the request made by UPA - Associated Advertising Users in collaboration with the Sodalitas Foundation of Assolombarda, the first organization to have introduced Corporate Sustainability in Italy.