Australian Super Funds Under Investigation for Greenwashing

The Australian Securities & Investments Commission (ASIC) is reportedly investigating multiple superannuation fund trustees and listed companies for overstating their green credentials. The investigations involve super fund trustees, listed companies and one managed fund, with net zero claims a key area of scrutiny. The regulator is investigating claims from companies about achieving net zero emissions by a particular time, claims about carbon neutrality, claims about emissions reduction strategies, and claims about investment exclusions and screening processes applicable to sustainability related financial products. According to the Australian Financial Review, ASIC’s deputy chairman Sarah Court told the House of Representatives economics committee that several investigations are under way. The investigations are “at an early stage,” Ms Court said, adding that ASIC is focusing on misleading and deceptive conduct as part of its consumer protection framework. Organisations that claim they have plans to achieve net zero emissions by 2030 or 2050 should be able to prove they are going to achieve their goals, while also ensuring they have practices, systems and procedures in place to back them up, she said.

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