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ASIC experiences on its latest anti-greenwashing actions

The Australian Securities and Investments Fee has printed a report disclosing how and why it has taken motion in opposition to greenwashing, detailing all 35 interventions it has made in response to its greenwashing surveillance actions from July 1, 2022, to March 31, 2023.

Greenwashing, one in every of ASIC’s enforcement priorities for 2023, has been outlined by the company watchdog because the “observe of misrepresenting the extent to which a monetary product or funding technique is environmentally pleasant, sustainable, or moral.”

The most recent ASIC report additionally recognized the rising ranges of representations on environmental, social, and governance credentials by listed corporations, managed funds, and superannuation funds.

All 35 ASIC interventions adopted the discharge of the regulator’s “The way to keep away from greenwashing” data sheet in June final 12 months.

“The place we’ve seen doubtlessly deceptive disclosures, we’ve taken regulatory motion,” stated Karen Chester (pictured above), ASIC deputy chair. “Our interventions vary from securing well timed corrections, issuing public infringement notices by to commencing civil penalty proceedings. 

“All 35 of our interventions are aimed squarely at selling honest and clear markets in order that retail buyers and monetary customers are properly knowledgeable and never misled on the ‘inexperienced credentials’ of investments and listed corporations. We have now ongoing surveillances and several other investigations underway and anticipate additional regulatory motion.”

From July 1, 2022, to March 31, 2023, ASIC intervention resulted in 23 corrective disclosure outcomes, 11 infringement notices issued, and the graduation of civil penalty proceedings in a single case.

“In disclosing how and why we intervened, alongside the corrective outcomes of our actions, we hope to additional inform the market on tips on how to keep away from greenwashing,” Chester stated. 

The report additionally detailed the character of the issues through which ASIC has intervened, close to:

  • web zero statements and targets
  • use of phrases equivalent to “carbon impartial,” “clear,” or “inexperienced”
  • fund labels
  • scope and software of funding exclusions and screens

ASIC inspired issuers and advisers to contemplate the report, alongside Data Sheet 271, when making ready sustainability-related disclosures to make sure they’ve affordable grounds and adjust to the regulation.

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