We use cookies to provide the best site experience.

Greenwashing in Switzerland:
Recent Developments and Legal Implications

30 October 2023 | Legal Alerts

Greenwashing in Switzerland: Recent Developments and Legal Implications

In recent years, there has been a growing global concern over "greenwashing," a practice where companies exaggerate or make false claims about the environmental benefits of their products or services. In Switzerland, this issue has gained significant attention, leading to new developments and legal considerations in the fight against greenwashing. This legal alert provides an overview of the latest news and legal implications surrounding greenwashing in Switzerland.

Recent Developments

  • 1
    Swiss Federal Council's Position
    The Swiss Federal Council has intensified its efforts to combat greenwashing by emphasizing the importance of transparency and accurate labeling of environmentally friendly products and services. In particular, the Federal Department of Finance (FDF) has announced its intention to formulate legislation addressing greenwashing. The department aims to release a consultation draft no later than August 2024.
  • 2
    Greenwashing Investigations
    Swiss regulatory authorities, including the Federal Office for the Environment (FOEN) and the Swiss Competition Commission (COMCO), have increased their scrutiny of companies suspected of greenwashing. Several high-profile investigations have been launched against companies accused of deceptive advertising practices.
  • 3
    Legal Action Against Offenders
    In response to greenwashing cases, legal actions are being taken against companies found to be engaged in deceptive marketing practices. Violators may face fines, sanctions, and orders to revise their marketing materials to comply with Swiss consumer protection laws.

Legal Implications

  • Stricter Regulations

    The Swiss government is actively considering the introduction of stricter regulations on green marketing claims, including mandatory guidelines for companies wishing to promote the environmental benefits of their products or services.
  • Consumer Protection

    Swiss consumer protection laws are being reinforced to safeguard consumers from misleading greenwashing claims. Companies making false environmental statements may be subject to legal consequences under these laws.
  • Corporate Liability

    Company executives and directors may be held personally liable for greenwashing practices if they knowingly engage in or condone deceptive marketing tactics. Legal action against individuals involved in such practices is an emerging trend.


For businesses operating in Switzerland, it is imperative to stay informed about evolving regulations and best practices to ensure compliance with the law and ethical marketing standards. To avoid legal repercussions and protect their reputation, companies should consider the following:
  • Review Marketing Materials
    Conduct a comprehensive review of all marketing and advertising materials to ensure they accurately represent the environmental impact of products and services.
  • Seek Legal Advice
    Consult legal counsel with expertise in Swiss consumer protection and environmental regulations to ensure compliance.
  • Transparent Reporting
    Maintain transparent and verifiable records regarding sustainability and environmental claims to substantiate any marketing messages.
  • Stay Informed
    Monitor regulatory updates and developments related to greenwashing in Switzerland to adapt to changing legal requirements.

Switzerland is taking a strong stance against greenwashing, and recent developments indicate a growing commitment to protect consumers from deceptive environmental claims. Companies operating in Switzerland must exercise caution and due diligence in their marketing practices to avoid legal consequences and safeguard their reputation.
For specific legal advice or assistance, please consult with a qualified attorney familiar with Swiss consumer protection and environmental regulations.
This legal alert provides a general overview of the topic and should not be considered as legal advice. Legal situations may vary, and businesses should consult with legal professionals to address their specific concerns.
Show more