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Australian consumer rights advocate calls for efforts against greenwashing

Erin Turner, CEO of Consumer Policy Research Centre Australia

Erin Turner, CEO of Consumer Policy Research Centre Australia on Thursday called for global concerted efforts against greenwashing.Turner told the Consumer International Global Congress that is taking place in Nairobi that much needed scrutiny is now being placed on green declarations in order to drive the uptake of credible green claims.” We need coordinated efforts to ensure that consumers are not doped into believing that the products they are purchasing are green,” Turner said.According to the Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change, up to 70% of greenhouse gas emissions can be reduced through changes to consumer behaviour.Turner added that providing ‘adequate information’ to consumers is also an essential consumer right to help consumers make better informed choices.The Australian consumer rights advocates noted that it important to make sure that the information that’s put out by businesses is accurate and useful for people.”There are a lot of companies out in the marketplace that might say that they’re giving you a green option or an eco or sustainable option, but they don’t necessarily give you the detail about what they really doing and this makes it really hard for you as an individual to figure out well how to make a good sustainable choice,” Turner said.Karen Bett, Senior Policy Manager, Data Equity and Inclusion at the Global Partnership for Sustainable Development Data said that governments and consumer rights advocates should partner to address misleading claims on green goods in order to rebuild trust.Bett observed the big role that consumers can play in setting the standards because you cannot develop standards that does not have the voice of the consumers in that standard. She also highlighted the big role for advocacy from consumer organizations to educate consumers and also create that awareness.”There’s our role to keep the government in check to make sure that government is regulating well and also keeping the private sector in check so that the products that are developing is actually not just driven by profits but also driven by the public good and sustainability so as to improve people’s lives,” Bett

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