Kate Gee comments on CMA investigation into Worcester Bosch re potential greenwashing

By Kate Gee

Partner Kate Gee comments on the Competition and Markets Authority launching an investigation into boiler company Worcester Bosch in relation to potential claims of greenwashing in the marketing of its ‘hydrogen-blend ready’ boilers.

Kate’s comments were published in CDR, City A.M., and Business Matters, 17 October 2023. Kate’s comments were also carried in Solicitors Journal, 18 October 2023.

The investigation will focus on Worcester Bosch’s so-called ‘hydrogen-blend ready’ home boilers and whether the marketing claims made about these products may mislead shoppers into thinking they are more environmentally friendly than they are.

Partner Kate Gee commented:

“The CMA’s investigation will focus on Worcester Bosch’s so-called ‘hydrogen-blend ready’ home boilers, and assess whether Bosch’s marketing materials overstate the boilers’ environmental credentials and mislead potential purchasers.

The investigation highlights the need for companies to keep their ESG obligations front and centre in board-level decisions, policymaking and implementation at every level of the organisation. Companies must ensure that their products, product information and marketing materials do not give confusing, misleading or inaccurate information about environmental credentials and can – if pressed – withstand regulatory scrutiny.

The incentive to greenwash stems from increased consumer demand for sustainable products and commercial activities. At the same time, there is increasing regulatory and industry pressure to provide environmentally responsible products and services, as evidenced by developing environmental, social and corporate governance (ESG) frameworks. 

This has resulted in greater scrutiny and high-profile court proceedings relating to greenwashing and other ESG issues, brought by affected customers, by regulatory bodies or by activist groups.”

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