Australia’s competition regulator said on Thursday it would investigate a number of businesses for potential exaggeration of claims of environment-friendly investment, as the government looks to stamp out “greenwashing”.
The Australian Competition and Consumer Commission (ACCC) said it would scrutinize claims of sustainability and carbon offsets, as well as “biodegradable”, “recyclable” and “compostable” product claims.
The sweep, which took place between early to mid-October last year, comes just two days after the country’s corporate regulator launched a legal action against pension fund Mercer Superannuation, accusing it of misleading members about the sustainability of some of its investment options.
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“Our sweep indicates a significant proportion of businesses are making vague or unclear environmental claims. This warrants further scrutiny,” ACCC Deputy Chair Catriona Lowe said in a statement on Thursday.
“It appears that rather than making legitimate changes to their practices and procedures, some businesses are relying on false or misleading claims.”