Principles guard truth in ‘eco-friendly’ product claims

Principles guard truth in ‘eco-friendly’ product claims

Principles guard truth in ‘eco-friendly’ product claims

Time’s up for businesses making dodgy or vague claims about being clean, green and sustainable.

The Australian Competition and Consumer Commission on Tuesday released final guidance for clear and accurate environmental claims about products or services so that consumers are not misled.

“Where a business has genuinely changed how they operate to be more sustainable, we want them to have the confidence to tell their customers about these changes,” ACCC acting chair Catriona Lowe said.

“We also want them to be able to legitimately market their products or services to consumers seeking a more sustainable option.”

The principles show how businesses can make clear, evidence-based environmental claims that consumers can understand and trust, she said.

But businesses risk breaching consumer law if they exaggerate the climate or sustainability benefits of their products or services, and consumers are urged to report greenwashing to the ACCC.

“Misleading environmental and sustainability claims continue to be an enforcement and compliance priority for the ACCC, and we have several active investigations under way,” Ms Lowe said.

Further guidance, covering emissions reduction and being carbon neutral, will be released in early 2024.

THE EIGHT PRINCIPLES:

* Make accurate and truthful claims to consumers

* Have evidence to back up the claims about product and services

* Don’t lie by hiding or omitting important information

* Explain any conditions or qualifications on the claims

* Avoid broad and unqualified environmental claims

* Use clear and easy-to-understand language

* Visual elements should not give a false impression

* Be direct and open about how sustainability will be achieved

 

Marion Rae
(Australian Associated Press)



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