November 28, 2022

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Prepare to back up any environmental claims, ACCC warns businesses

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Australia’s top rated client watchdog has when once again warned businesses to be completely ready to substantiate any sustainability or environmental claims when advertising and marketing their items and services.

The Australian Competitors and Consumer Commission (ACCC) are actively targeting ‘greenwashing’ this calendar year amid “growing considerations that some firms are falsely promoting environmental or environmentally friendly credentials to capitalise on altering client preferences”, stated ACCC Deputy Chair Delia Rickard in a speech to the Sydney Morning Herald Sustainability Summit this week.

“Broad phrases like ‘environmentally friendly’, ‘green’, or ‘sustainable’ have limited value and may perhaps mislead shoppers, as they seldom give sufficient information and facts about what that just suggests in phrases of the merchandise or services individuals are thinking about purchasing,” Ms Rickard stated.

Although companies may well decide for brief and snappy slogans over lengthy explanations of their actions and procedures, the ACCC claimed businesses “need to be cautious to not overstate the position of their transition as a result of the statements they make.”

Company greenwashing continues to be a key difficulty in the country. Previous 12 months, the Australian Securities and Investments Commission (ASIC) experienced pointed out the growing demand for sustainable or ethical expenditure options from buyers in Australia and introduced a evaluate to build whether or not the practises of funds were being ESG-centered as claimed.

A 2021 report by Greenpeace Australia Pacific also discovered that most of the best-emitting firms in the ASX200 with web-zero targets, like Qantas and AGL, possibly have no firm designs to stop their use of coal to meet up with their goal or count on the use of doubtful carbon offsets.

The investigation discovered that even though more than 50 percent of Australia’s leading 80 emitting ASX200 businesses had set carbon neutral or internet zero targets, just 16 organizations experienced dedicated to switching to 100 for every cent renewable energy to lessen emissions.

“Many of the net zero targets from Australia’s major local weather polluters are nothing at all but corporate greenwash, distracting from the urgent require for emissions reduction,” stated Dr Nikola Čašule, Greenpeace Australia Pacific Head of Exploration and Investigations.

Noting that a business’s sustainability transition doesn’t choose position right away, the ACCC is urging firms to be in a position to again up any ESG claims via transparent supply chain information and facts, dependable 3rd-occasion certification, trusted scientific studies, or other sorts of evidence.

Ms Rickard elaborated, “Through the consumer law, the ACCC performs a section in this by making sure that companies convey to the fact, but there will also be roles for criteria bodies, certification schemes, market and governments by means of coverage reform.

“The ACCC is actively monitoring environmentally friendly promises in the sector and will be looking at what techniques can be taken to increase their integrity. This will consist of partaking with business and developing guidance for enterprises.”

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