In this cross-over episode with Talking Shop: A Consumer Sector Podcast Series, Emma Iles and Eliza Foley join Aoife Xuereb to discuss trade marks, certification marks and greenwashing risks in Australia. The use of trade marks and certification marks, like the Heart Foundation 'tick', by consumer companies to distinguish their product from competitors is not new. There is however an increasing array of certification marks being used to indicate to consumers that a product, its packaging or manufacturing method meets a certain sustainability performance standard, from the well established 'FAIR TRADE' mark to increasingly, carbon neutrality status and recyclability.
Protecting consumers from misleading environmental claims is currently a priority area for ACCC action, with draft guidance recently released following a greenwashing internet sweep in which 57% of businesses (including cosmetics, personal care, fashion, food and beverage) reviewed by the ACCC were found to be making potentially misleading claims – including misleading use of third-party certifications and symbols.
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