The Regional Court reiterated the strict standard applicable to environment-related advertising claims and concluded that the advertising did not fulfil these requirements. According to the Regional Court, the consumers understood ‘climate neutral’ in relation to the meat products either in the sense that CO2 emissions during the production or distribution were offset through climate projects or that CO2 had not been emitted (for instance, by using renewable energies or CO2 filters), or had been emitted in an insignificant manner. Thus, the Regional Court stated that there did not exist a clear consumer understanding of the statement ‘climate neutral’.
The Regional Court further held that the advertising would have needed to include a clarifying statement that ‘climate neutrality’ was understood in the sense of compensation and that climate neutrality was achieved through financial support of climate protection projects. While the defendant had listed a URL on the advertising site where the reader could learn more about the manner of achieving climate-neutrality, the claim ‘climate neutral’ had been made in the advertising without any mention of compensation, and thus, the consumer had not been able to make an informed business decision. Therefore, the Court found that the advertising breached § 5a para. 2 of the Act against Unfair Competition.