26 Oct

ABTA releases new guidance for members on greenwashing and environmental claims

ABTA – The Travel Association has published new guidance for members which gives an overview of the legal framework that businesses need to work within when they market and advertise their environmental credentials, with advice on how to avoid greenwashing.

The guidance, “Sustainability and Green Claims - marketing and advertising law,” looks at the approach of the Advertising Standards Authority (ASA) and the Competition and Markets Authority (CMA), which published its Green Claims Code in 2021, for businesses that market and advertise the environmental benefits of their travel services and products. 

It also explains the application of the Consumer Protection from Unfair Trading Regulations 2008, enforceable by Trading Standards and the CMA, in respect of making false, incomplete or misleading environmental claims.

The regulators are paying particular attention to the language and the overall visual presentation of marketing and advertising communications.  They also expect businesses to be able to evidence their environmental impact claims.

Meera Tharmarajah, Solicitor at ABTA said:

“ABTA members are doing lots of great work to address some of the environmental and socio-economic challenges around travel and tourism and want to communicate this to their customers. 

“But it’s also important that members are aware of the legal landscape around green claims so that they don’t inadvertently find themselves in breach of relevant laws and rules. 

“This is why we’ve developed this new guidance. We want members to be able to confidently communicate their actions and outcomes.” 

ABTA member and Partners can access their free copy of this new legal guidance in the ABTA Member Zone.

ABTA’s Travel Regulations conference, on Wednesday 15 November, will be looking at travel businesses ESG obligations and also the legal framework in respect of making green claims. More information on the conference can be found here.

Notes to editors
ABTA is a trade association for UK travel agents, tour operators and the wider travel industry. We’re the largest travel trade body, with over 3,900 travel brands in membership who have a combined pre-pandemic annual UK turnover of £40 billion. We work closely with our members to help raise and maintain standards and build a more sustainable travel industry, and provide travellers with advice, guidance and support.

Our members sign up to a code of conduct and commit to agreed service standards and fair trading. When you need clear travel information, and accurate and impartial advice relating to your trip, we’re here for you. We’ll help you understand your level of financial protection, and what to do next, in the unlikely event that an ABTA member goes out of business. So, whatever happens, when you book with an ABTA member, reliable advice comes as standard. This means that booking with our members brings peace of mind. Together with our members, we help you travel with confidence. www.abta.com