Peters & Peters

ENI fine in connection with greenwashing case overturned by Italian Court of State


Key facts:

In January 2020, Italy’s Competition and Market Authority, AGCM, imposed the highest possible fine of €5 million on ENI S.p.A. for misleading advertising in connection with its marketing campaign for Eni Diesel+ fuel. This was the first case concerning greenwashing in Italy’s history.

Eni Diesel+ is a diesel fuel that is partly composed of HVO (Hydrotreated Vegetable Oil). According to the AGCM, the misleading claims about the environmental benefits of Eni Diesel+ derived from its renewable component, HVO, which ENI called “Green Diesel”.

ENI’s marketing campaign was found to deceive consumers in claiming that the ‘green’ diesel had a positive impact on the environment, saved fuel, reduced CO2 emissions, and reduced air pollution.

ENI appealed the AGCM’s decision before the Administrative Court of Lazio. In November 2021, the court dismissed the appeal and ordered ENI to bear the costs.

However, in April 2024, the Italian Council of State, Italy’s highest administrative court, upheld an appeal by Eni against the AGCM’s decision. The Council of State ruled that ENI did not engage in any unfair commercial practice to the detriment of consumers and that the allegations previously made by the AGCM were unfounded, rejecting the principle that terms such as ‘green’ cannot be associated with products that, by their very nature, have no ‘zero impact’ on the environment.


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