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ACCC Greenwashing Sweep – what brands can do now
Last week we held a member-only webinar with the ACCC’s Executive Director of Consumer Fair Trading Division, Nicholas Heys. We learned that the ACCC will be releasing revised guidance on environmental claims in the next month.
While we are waiting for the guidance, here are some things brands should be doing immediately to ensure they are not engaging in greenwashing:
- Review your own material:
- Are environmental claims being made which cannot be substantiated?
- Is the substantiation sufficient and robust enough to justify the environmental claims being made? Remember, absolute claims (100% recyclable) need to be back up with absolute evidence.
- If you can substantiate the claims, are the links to the supporting material still working?
- Do the claims pass the Jo Consumer Test?
- Get someone who does not know your company to review your claims and tell you what they think those claims mean. If that understanding does not correspond with what you are trying to communicate, consider amending your claims or taking them down.
Other key takeouts from the webinar:
Certified Trade Marks (CTMs) – are potentially putting your brand at risk.
If your company adopts a CTM which creates an impression that is not true, that could expose your company to liability. Brands should check any CTMs they are using to make sure they are not creating a false impression of the environmental benefits of a product or service.
Expect more action from the ACCC in this space.
The ACCC will be approaching companies where that have concerns about environmental claims being made. Be ready to substantiate any claims you are making.
For those members that missed the webinar, you can view the discussion here.
We will also share the ACCC’s revised guidelines when they are released.