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European Insurance and Occupational Pensions Authority

Greenwashing: what it is and how can it affect you?

What is greenwashing?

Greenwashing is a practice whereby sustainability-related statements, declarations, actions, or communications do not clearly and fairly reflect the underlying sustainability profile of an entity, a financial product, or financial services.

This practice may be misleading to consumers, investors, or to other market participants.

Where does greenwashing occur in the insurance and pension sectors?

How can greenwashing impact you?


  • Can deceive consumers into buying products that are not aligned with their preferences
  • Can deceive consumers into buying products from a pension or insurance provider that misleadingly portrays itself as an entity with sustainability credentials
  • Can erode consumers’ trust in the ability of insurers or pension providers to positively impact environmental or social factors
  • Misleading sustainability claims do not allow consumers as well as the society to hold providers accountable for their environmental and social impact

What do consumers think about sustainability claims made by insurance undertakings or distributors?

The EU-wide Eurobarometer survey carried out by EIOPA in June 2022 shows that 62% of EU consumers do not trust the sustainability claims made by insurance undertakings or distributors, while a similar percentage (63%) says that sustainability claims about insurance products are often misleading.

Consumers view on their insurance purchasing experience