Further developments in “Sustainability” marketing and “Greenwashing” issues

As some consumers are willing to pay a price premium for products that are perceived to be more ‘sustainable’ or environmentally-friendly, more businesses are looking to market the ‘green’ credentials of their products. However, Australian regulators are becoming proactive and taking enforcement action to prevent misleading ‘greenwashing’ claims. Greenwashing is a form of over-emphasis or over-statement of environmental or sustainability benefits or credentials. This article explores several recent developments in this area, including (1) Australian Federal Court action against a claim describing the product as ‘ocean plastic’, (2) recent findings by Ad Standards against misleading environmental advertisements, and (3) an ongoing Australian Senate inquiry into greenwashing.