Australia investigating footwear greenwashing
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The Australian Competition and Consumer Commission (ACCC) has announced that it will be investigating a number of companies for potential ‘greenwashing’, following web-based research which, it alleges, found more than half of the businesses surveyed making questionable statements regarding their sustainability practices. Greenwashing has been defined as ‘the use of advertising and public messaging to try to appear to be more environmentally sustainable and green than is really the case’.
According to the ACCC, the cosmetic, clothing, footwear and food and drink sectors were found to have the highest proportion of concerning claims among the industries targeted in the operation. The Commission’s deputy chair, Catriona Lowe, added that the sweep indicates that a significant proportion of businesses are making vague or unclear environmental claims at a time when consumers are more than ever making purchasing decisions on environmental grounds.
The ACCC states that some businesses are relying on false or misleading claims and that further checks are being made. Australia is seeing increasing regulatory enforcement and civil litigation activity focused on sustainability issues.
This article was originally published on page 3 of the March 2023 issue of SATRA Bulletin.