Catholic Religious Australia has lodged a submission to federal Parliament addressing “greenwashing” tactics employed by Australian industries that can mislead consumers attempting to consider a product’s environmental impact.
In its submission to the Senate Standing Committees on Environment and Communications, CRA expressed concern over the recent report from the Australian Competition and Consumer Commission, in which it found many Australian brands were making unsubstantiated claims about their environmental credentials.
“The ability to rely on this information is an issue of trust for consumers,” said CRA president Fr Peter Jones OSA, “and increasingly forms a basis of their decision-making”.
“Consumers all over the world are now calling for legislation to ensure more transparent measurement and disclosure of information from companies regarding their Environmental, Social and Governance (ESG) performance,” he said.
While Australia’s key financial regulators and standard setters are producing guidance for disclosure of environmental and social risks and their management, a multitude of voluntary reporting methodologies are frustrating the robust benchmarking and comparability that would ensure market transparency and the elimination of greenwashing.
CRA National Executive Director Anne Walker said the submission “also highlighted how the current operations of the fashion and footwear and food and drink industries are inherently unsustainable. CRA called on these industries to better align their business goals and activities with ESG standards and principles”.
Read CRA’s submission.