Peters & Peters

Greenchoice and Vattenfall to provide better sustainability information after ACM investigation


Key facts:

In Spring 2021, the ACM noticed many potentially misleading sustainability claims being made in the energy sector. It asked energy suppliers to take a critical look at their sustainability claims as a result.

The ACM subsequently continued its investigation into Vattenfall and Greenchoice, two Dutch energy suppliers. Both companies had presented themselves as sustainable through their use of comparisons. However, it was not clear what these comparisons were based on and whom or what they were compared with.

Following the ACM’s investigation, Vattenfall and Greenchoice made commitments to the ACM, promising to adjust or no longer use sustainability claims on their website. They committed to informing consumers more clearly in order to minimise the risk of misleading practices involving sustainability claims. They also agreed to donate €950,000 and €450,000, respectively, to different sustainable causes to compensate for their use of unclear and insufficiently substantiated sustainability claims.

As a result of Vattenfall and Greenchoice’s commitments, the ACM agreed not to impose any sanctions. However, it will enforce their compliance with the commitments over the next two years.

Businesses that wish to promote their products using sustainability claims should be aware of the ACM’s guidelines regarding sustainability claims.

The ACM has said that it will continue to keep a close watch on the energy sector and will not rule out imposing fines if violations are established in the future.


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