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Dutch court finds KLM ads were misleading in ‘greenwashing’ case

Dutch court finds KLM ads were misleading in ‘greenwashing’ case
On of the last KLM Fokker aircraft on the tarmac, at Schiphol Airport, The Netherlands 29 October 2017. KLM, the Dutch flag carrier, is preparing to bid a fond farewell to its last Fokker aircraft, marking the final chapter in a partnership that has lasted 97 years. EPA-EFE/ROBIN VAN LONKHUIJSEN

AMSTERDAM, March 20 (Reuters) - A Dutch court ruled on Wednesday that KLM misled customers with an advertising campaign aimed at improving the company's environmental image, in a case of so-called "greenwashing".

The decision is an important symbolic victory for environmentalists who said the company’s “Fly Responsibly” campaign was misleading given that all aviation is an important source of greenhouse gas emissions.

“A number of advertisements made by KLM in the past were misleading and therefore illegal,” the court said in a summary of the judge’s written decision.

However the company will not be forced to issue any rectification, and it may continue to advertise to customers. In the future, the firm must be “honest and concrete” about environmental claims, the court said.

(Reporting by Toby Sterling; Editing by Jan Harvey)

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