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Avoid Promotional Merchandise Greenwashing

Updated: May 14

With the awareness of the climate crisis gaining momentum many companies and brands are increasingly ramping up their efforts to minimise the environmental impact of the products and services they sell along with the items they buy into their business.

However, there is an increase in the number of exaggerated or unsubstantiated sustainability claims that cannot be backed up.

This is known as ‘greenwashing’, many companies are not aware of this when both selling and buying Branded Merchandise.


Greenwashing is the practice of describing products, services, companies, or organisations as ecologically responsible to increase sales or enhance their public image.

Greenwashing can include making claims that a product is ‘eco-friendly’ when it is not or using environmental marketing jargon to sell so-called sustainable products or services.

Green claims (also known as environmental claims or eco-friendly claims) are claims that suggest that a product, service, brand, or business provides a benefit, or is less harmful to the environment.

Typically, businesses use these claims when promoting or selling their products or services and they can be advertised in a range of ways.

Green claims are genuine when they properly describe the impact of a product, brand, business, or service, with evidence to back it up.

Claims can be misleading if any information is untrue or hidden if information is misrepresented or if it is taken out of context.

Green claims checklist

When making green claims, a businesses should be able to provide evidence their claim is up to date, credible and true. It must comply with consumer protection law.

Before making a green claim, businesses should understand how their product, brand or business has an impact – both positively and negatively – on the environment for its whole life cycle.

A green claim should clearly tells the whole story of a product or service; or relates to one part of the product or service without misleading people about the other parts or the overall impact on the environment.

Where general claims for products such as eco-friendly, green or sustainable are being made, the claim should reflects the whole life cycle of the product and is backed and justified with evidence.

When buying merchandise you can ask for back up information such as a SUSTAINABILITY DECLARATION or links to web pages with more product detail.

Look out for credible certification symbols backing the claim and credentials of a product.

For your range of true Green Eco Merchandise contact our specialist Green team for great advise and ideas on merchandise tailored to your brand and needs.


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