Environmental claims: determination summary

The AANA Environmental Claims Code is aimed at ensuring that advertisers and marketers develop and maintain rigorous standards when making environmental claims and to increase consumer confidence to the benefit of the environment, consumers and industry.

There is a low level of complaints about environmental issues.

For a case to be considered under this Code it must be found to be making an environmental claim – as defined in the Code.

The Community Panel’s view is:

  • Vague statements which don’t contain any specific claims may not be found to be making an environmental claim about a product or service:
    • Australian Gas Networks – 0248-21

Section 1 - Truthful and Factural Presentation

The Community Panel have found one advertisement in breach of this Section of the Code:

  • Environmental claims which provide a misleading impression to the average consumer in the target market will breach this Section of the Code.
    • Australian Gas Networks – 0202/20
       

A number of complaints have been dismissed under this Section. 

The Community Panel's view is:

  • Environmental claims that can validate their claims with independent research will not be seen to breach the Code.

 

  • General puffery is acknowledged by the Panel as a way of exaggerating the benefits of the product/service being promoted in a factual way.

 

  • Presenting factual information on the environmental benefits of a product/service will not be seen to breach the Code.


Section 2 - Genuine benefit to the environment

The Community Panel's view is:

  • Broad claims, such as ‘sustainable’ and ‘clean’ will not be found to breach the Code where the claims can be substantiated to show that they are not overstated and are reasonable summaries of the product or service.
  • Claims which are specific and limited to a specific aspect of the product or service, will not breach the Code when the advertisement is clear that the claim is limited to the aspect, and not making claims about broader environmental benefit.
  • Environmental claims that states factual comparisons to other products will not be seen to breach the Code.
    • Vitasoy Australia – 0164-21
       
  • Claims about natural gas being naturally occurring will not breach the Code, as long as the advertiser does not indicate it is a replacement for renewable energy sources.


Section 3 - Substantiation

The Community Panel's view is:

  • Environmental claims that provide supporting information in a website link will not be seen to breach the Code.
  • Claims about the sustainability and compliancy of products or services, when substantiated via official regulations or Standards, will not breach the Code.
  • Environmental claims that can validate their claims with independent research will not be seen to breach the Code.