ACCC (Australian Competition & Consumer Commission) has begun a crackdown on “greenwashing” by Australian companies, surveying the internet for companies making false claims about environmental action after a global investigation found as many as 40% may be fraudulent.

Gina Cass-Gottlieb, chair of the Australian Competition and Consumer Commission, told a House of Representative hearing on Tuesday that “increasingly large proportions of consumers” were making decisions based on products’ sustainability credentials.

Ensuring claims are truthful will be an enforcement priority for the ACCC this year, and an enduring one, Cass-Gottlieb said, adding international estimates from consumer protection groups put the level of false environmental claims at 40%.

The ACCC is also planning to lay down guidelines so that companies only make statements about their products that are “clear, defined, limited in their claims, and always have strong verification materials”, “Scientific and rigorous processes” would need to be behind those claims, Cass-Gottlieb said.


The Guardian