What can we learn from the ACCC's new environmental claims

Shan Vahora
September 18, 2023
5 mins read


In today's eco-conscious world, businesses are increasingly highlighting their green initiatives. However, with this rise in environmental marketing comes the responsibility to ensure authenticity and compliance. Here's a breakdown of the principles set by the ACCC for making genuine environmental and sustainability claims.

Key Principles for Making Environmental Claims

  1. Truthfulness and Accuracy: Always base your environmental claims on facts. Ensure they reflect the genuine benefits and can be substantiated.
  2. Relevance: Your claims should be directly related to the product and not exaggerate its environmental benefits.
  3. Substantiation: Back up your claims with solid evidence, preferably from independent and credible sources.
  4. Clarity: Steer clear of vague terms like "eco-friendly" unless they're properly defined.
  5. Presentation: Make sure your claims are easily understandable, using clear language and context.
  6. Comparative Claims: If comparing products, be fair, accurate, and relevant.
  7. Visual Integrity: Visuals can convey strong messages. Ensure they accurately represent your product's benefits.
  8. in Transition: If you're moving towards sustainable practices, be open about your journey and progress.

The ACCC's Stance on Environmental Claims:

The ACCC is vigilant about ensuring businesses adhere to these principles. Their strategic approach prioritizes investigations that could significantly harm consumers or the market. Tools at their disposal include:

  • Section 155 notices: Formal requests to gather information related to potential breaches.
  • Substantiation notices: Requests to verify the authenticity of environmental claims.
  • Infringement notices: Issued for suspected breaches of specific consumer protection provisions.
  • Penalties: For severe breaches, legal action can be taken, with penalties reaching up to $50 million or more.

Reporting Greenwashing

The ACCC encourages both consumers and businesses to report greenwashing. They've made it easy with multiple channels, including their website, phone lines, and dedicated infocentres.

Legal Framework Overview

At the heart of consumer rights in Australia is the Australian Consumer Law (ACL). It prohibits misleading conduct and false advertising, ensuring businesses operate transparently and consumers are protected from false environmental benefit claims.


As the demand for sustainable products grows, it's crucial for businesses to communicate their green initiatives authentically. By adhering to the ACCC's principles and guidelines, businesses can ensure they're not only compliant but also building genuine trust with their consumers.

Elevate Your Green Narrative with klean

In a world where authenticity is paramount, klean empowers businesses to transparently showcase their sustainability initiatives. We bridge the gap between your green efforts and your customers, ensuring your genuine practices are recognized and valued. Don't just claim it; prove it with Klean.

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