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ESAs launch joint Call for Evidence on greenwash

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The three European Supervisory Authorities (EBA, EIOPA and ESMA – ESAs) today published a Call for Evidence on greenwashing.

  • European supervisory authorities call for evidence on greenwashing.
  • The groups are looking for greater clarity on what constitutes greenwash and how to understand what it is and how it works.
  • Defining greenwash and the management of the risks surrounding it are going to be increasingly important as sustainability trends accelerate.

European supervisory authorities are those responsible for compliance with different rules. The goal is to gather input from stakeholders on how to understand the key features, drivers and risks associated with greenwashing and to collect examples of potential greenwashing practices.

Due to the growing demand for sustainability-related products and the rapidly evolving regulatory regimes and sustainability-related product offerings, the call is also motivated by the need to better understand which areas may become more prone to greenwashing risks.

In addition, the call seeks input on potential greenwashing practices relevant to various segments of the sustainable investment value chain and of the financial product lifecycle.

Understanding greenwash is central to effective policymaking

Obtaining a more granular understanding of greenwashing will help inform policy making and supervision and will help foster the reliability of sustainability-related claims. In the context of this call, the term “greenwashing” is broadly used, recognising that sustainability-related claims can be linked to all aspects of the ESG spectrum.

All interested parties are welcome to contribute to the survey, including financial institutions under the remit of the three ESAs and other stakeholders ranging from retail investors and consumers’ associations to NGOs and academia. Contributions should focus on greenwashing risks and occurrences arising in the financial sector and affecting financial products or services, which are under the scope of the ESAs.

We draw attention to the fact that the survey contains a section common to the three Authorities, which includes cross-sectoral questions on greenwashing and separate sections relevant to each ESA.

This Call for Evidence was issued in the context of the mandates received from the European Commission in May 2022.

Next steps

Respondents are invited to submit their responses by 10 January 2023. Contributions will feed into the ESAs’ findings for their progress reports due in May 2023, and final reports due in May 2024.

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