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Build trust through independent verification

Build trust through independent verification

Why independent verification is important

It’s no secret that demand for clarity around environmental claims is high. There are increasing reports within the industry of “greenwashing”, “greenhushing” (an attempt to avoid greenwashing claims by purposely not discussing environmental efforts) and above all, a greater need for clarity and standardisation when it comes to making environmental statements. 

In a recent survey by consultancy Sensu Insight reported on by Edie, less than a quarter of people believe environmental claims made by businesses to be credible. The survey goes on to reveal more surprising statistics, such as only 19% of participants found “green” product descriptions reassuring.

The report explains how the vast majority of those surveyed believe there could be some truth in environmental claims from businesses, however, they were very cautious of exaggeration, the omission of certain details and a lack of independent verification.

As such, confidence in environmental claims made by businesses is low, but there are steps you can take as both a manufacturer and a purchaser to combat this. Read on to discover how.

Instant assurance for your products

Independent verification is one of the key ways you can combat scepticism around environmental claims, and with an entity such as the Energy Technology List, obtaining this accreditation is simple.

As well as providing third party verification, the ETL is backed by the government’s Department for Energy Security & Net Zero (DESNZ). It’s also free to use, whether that’s for sourcing energy efficient products or to have your products listed.

A boost for manufacturers

For manufacturers, the ETL provides an additional, trusted outlet on which to showcase your energy efficient products. It can be seen as an additional direct sales channel, with its own marketing and advertising, putting you directly in touch with purchasers. There’s also a channel of communication between purchasers and manufacturers, as the ETL facilitates communication between the two, something that’s particularly helpful for purchasers to fully understand the specification of a product. 

Confidence for purchasers

For purchasers, the ETL can be seen as a complete, energy efficient and ready-made supplier list. It allows you to browse, research and compare products, as well as make purchases, safe in the knowledge that you’re choosing a product with independent verification of its energy efficiency claims.

The ETL provides reassurance - something that’s essential in combating energy efficiency claim scepticism.

The ETL API allows the list to be integrated within your own procurement platforms too, providing a seamless transaction. There is also a wealth of case studies on the ETL, showcasing its effectiveness in terms of saving organisations money when it comes to energy costs, but also potentially in procurement costs, too.

What else is being done?

The need for stringent energy efficiency claim verification is something on the radar of various organisations. As such, in the government’s recent Net Zero review, information is included regarding proposals for policies that address the lack of information surrounding industrial products’ impact on the environment, particularly, product standard, labelling and procurement.

Alongside this, the UK Competition and Markets Authority (CMA) is set to begin investigations on firms that make potentially misleading claims around environmental impacts. Amongst much prior research, the CMA has produced a “Green Claims Code”, which helps companies understand what environmental claims they can and can’t make surrounding their products.

The CMA has also launched investigations into various FMCG brands, as part of its ongoing commitment to combatting greenwashing. You can read more on the topic in this Edie article.

How do I benefit from independent verification?

If you’re a manufacturer, you can apply to have your products independently verified by the Energy Technology List, for free. Simply head to our Manufacturers page and register. It’s easy to do, and you’ll have support and guidance along the way.

For purchasers, you can find out more about the many benefits of using the ETL here, as well as find, compare and purchase the energy efficient products you need.