ASIC taking aim at Greenhushers + Disclosure Standards Coming In June

by Sustainable Choice Group 06/06/2023

A Sustainability Journey

“Change is coming – and it won’t look kindly on those who aren’t prepared.”
The ASIC Chair Joe Longo delivered a fantastic speech at the AFR Environmental, Social, and Governance (ESG) Summit yesterday. Here are the highlights:

1. Climate Disclosure Standards are coming at the end of this month:
This is going to be a huge win for consumer confidence once businesses know that their marketing teams can work alongside sustainable development and legal teams with confidence and cohesion in sustainability-related claims.

2. The ASIC consider Greenhushing to be just ‘another form of Greenwashing’:
A South Pole report is mentioned in this speech that revealed nearly a quarter of the 1,200 companies surveyed have decided not to talk about their net-zero commitments at all. In response to global scrutiny of greenwashing, it has been tempting to cease all voluntary disclosure.

The regulators are realising that keeping quiet is just an attempt to “garner a ‘green halo’ effect without having to do the work” – or, another form of Greenwashing.

3. Crackdowns on problematic behaviour are continuing into the new financial year:
This includes ‘unsubstantiated net-zero statements and targets’, terms like ‘carbon neutral’, ‘clean’ or ‘green’, that aren’t founded on reasonable grounds, and the use of ‘inaccurate labelling or vague terms’ in sustainability-related funds.

We’re excited to be expanding our toolkit on to help address this final point head on. We’ve been lovingly referring to this feature internally as a ‘Spellchecker for Greenwashing’. Starting next week, all of our members will get free access to a tool that notifies them in real-time of terms that may be red-flagged by regulators and given simple steps to reduce or eliminate the risk of greenwashing before a single word is published.

We can’t wait to get this into your hands, so stay tuned. This final quote from the speech sums everything up for us – “looking to the future can never be an excuse for complacency, inactivity or lowering standards now.

We’d highly recommend reading the full speech here.

AFR article “ASIC chairman Longo takes aim at corporate ‘greenhushers’”

The world of sustainability is always changing. The information we’ve provided is based on what was current when we published it. So, please make sure to check the latest standards and guidelines.

by Sustainable Choice Group