Dutch competition regulator asks Vattenfall, Greenchoice to clarify sustainability claims


The Dutch Authority for Consumers and Markets (ACM) has urged energy providers Vattenfall and Greenchoice to adjust some sustainability claims the two companies were presenting on their website with regard to their energy offers.

The regulator said the two companies have also agreed to donate funds to different sustainable causes to compensate for their unclear and insufficiently substantiated sustainability claims and avoid sanctions.

“We are glad that the companies recognize that they should have communicated more clearly about sustainability,” said ACM board member Hijmans van den Bergh.

The ACM approached the two energy suppliers to scrutinize their claims in spring 2021. It said Vattenfall and Greenchoice presented sustainability claims by using comparisons.

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“However, it was not clear on what basis the comparison was made and with whom or what was being compared,” the ACM said.

Its guidelines for sustainability claims rely on several rules of thumb. Companies must say what sustainability benefits their products offer, and they must substantiate their sustainability claims with facts, for example.

“We must adhere to certain rules,” a Vattenfall spokesperson told pv magazine. “We therefore appreciate the ACM's attention and comments and have amended the relevant information. We will also be even sharper in the future to prevent errors or ambiguities.”

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