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News 04/10/23

AFM publishes Guidelines on Sustainability Claims

The Dutch Authority for the Financial Markets (AFM) publishes Guidelines on Sustainability Claims for financial institutions and pension providers. With these Guidelines, the AFM provides guidance to market participants on how to make correct, clear and non-misleading sustainability claims.

In short

  • Communication from market participants often includes sustainability ambitions 
  • Sustainability information must be correct, clear and non-misleading 
  • The Guidelines provide tools to comply with existing information requirements when making sustainability claims 
  • The Guidelines were consulted from 12 June to 24 July 2023 

Financial sector has important role 

The financial sector has a crucial role in making the economy more sustainable. Communications, including marketing, by market participants often contain sustainability ambitions and other sustainability claims.
The AFM considers transparency on sustainability aspects of great importance. We therefore see the growing attention to this by market participants as a positive development. As with other information, sustainability claims should be correct, clear and not misleading.

Tools to comply with information requirements 

In these Guidelines on sustainability claims, financial institutions and pension providers will find tools to comply with the existing information requirements. The Guidelines do so by means of three main principles. Claims must be:
  1. accurate, representative, and up to date;
  2. specific and substantiated;
  3. understandable, appropriate, and easy to find.
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In the Guidelines, the principles are supplemented by further explanation, and practical examples.

Guidelines were consulted from 12 June to 24 July 2023

The Guidelines were consulted from 12 June to 24 July 2023. Seven responses have been received, all from industry associations. The AFM has taken into account the responses and amended the guidelines in several places accordingly. Most significantly, two good practices have been added to the guidelines. Along with these Guidelines, we have published a 'feedback statement' (in Dutch), indicating what we have done with the responses to the consultation.

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