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ACCC launches investigation on Australian businesses for greenwashing

Mar 14, 2023 Australia
ACCC launches investigation on Australian businesses for greenwashing
Australia's Competition and Consumer Commission (ACCC) will investigate several businesses, especially in the cosmetic, clothing and footwear and food and drink sectors, for potential greenwashing
Following an internet sweep conducted in October/November 2022, ACCC concluded that, among the 247 businesses and brands reviewed, 57% of them were identified “as having made concerning claims about their environmental credentials”. Cosmetic, clothing and footwear, and food and drink sectors were found to have the highest proportion of troubling claims among the industries targeted in the operation. “Our sweep indicates a significant proportion of businesses are making vague or unclear environmental claims. This warrants further scrutiny”, stated ACCC Deputy Chair Catriona Lowe.

“Consumers are now, more than ever, making purchasing decisions on environmental grounds. Unfortunately, it appears that rather than making legitimate changes to their practices and procedures, some businesses are relying on false or misleading claims. This conduct harms not only consumers, but also those businesses taking genuine steps to implement more sustainable practices”, she added. Therefore, the organization will be asking the businesses under investigation to “substantiate their claims”, which can only be made through “reliable scientific reports, transparent supply chain information, reputable third-party certification or other forms of evidence”.

Additionally, ACCC reported that will conduct a range of educational activities with businesses, including updating economy-wide and sector-targeted guidance material, to help the companies improve the integrity of their environmental and sustainable claims. Prioritizing consumer and fair-trading issues concerning environmental and sustainability claims falls into the organization's list of Compliance and Enforcement priorities for 2022-2023.



Image Credits: Dan Freeman on Unsplash


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