INTOUCH: Feedback Sought On Carbon Claim Guidelines

The Commerce Commission has released draft guidelines for businesses about obligations surrounding carbon offset and neutrality claims and how they are affected by the Fair Trading Act. The Commission is seeking feedback on the guidelines before they are finalised.
The guidelines seek to inform both businesses which are providers of carbon offsets and those that use carbon offsets to promote their green credentials. The guidelines aim to improve the accuracy of information provided to consumers about carbon-related claims.
“Environmental claims are new area of focus for the Commerce Commission because we see this as an emerging area of concern. Last year we released our guidelines for green marketing and the Fair Trading Act. The carbon claim guidelines will supplement the green marketing guidelines and these together will provide valuable resource to assist businesses in understanding their obligations under the Fair Trading Act,” says Commerce Commission director of fair trading Adrian Sparrow.
“The Australian Competition and Consumer Commission (ACCC) has allowed the Commerce Commission to use its guidelines as basis for our own guidelines and we acknowledge its support. However, we are keen to ensure that the guidelines reflect the New Zealand situation, particularly the impact the Fair Trading Act has on any carbon claims trader may make. This is why we are releasing these guidelines in draft form and why we are seeking feedback from New Zealand businesses and consumers,” Sparrow says.

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