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ASIC issues infringement notice against super trustee for greenwashing

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By Reporter
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3 minute read

The regulator has taken further action against alleged greenwashing.

On Friday, ASIC announced that it has issued an infringement notice to superannuation trustee Diversa Trustees Limited as part of its battle against alleged greenwashing.

Diversa is the issuer of the super product Cruelty Free Super (CFS) and a trustee for Professional Super, a sub-fund of the Tidswell Master Superannuation Plan. 

The regulator said that it was concerned that statements on CFS’ website may have been false or misleading by overstating exclusions, also known as investment screens.

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“ASIC had concerns that the statements made regarding CFS were too broad, potentially misleading consumers as to the extent of the investment screening being implemented,” said ASIC deputy chair Sarah Court.

In the statements, CFS claimed to prevent investment in companies involved in “polluting and carbon-intensive activities”, “financing or support of activities which cause environmental and social harm” and “poor corporate governance”.

ASIC said that, while some investment screens were applied by CFS, they were more specific and implemented on a more limited basis than CFS’ website had suggested.

“As consumers increasingly look to more sustainable and ethical investing, including via their superannuation, ASIC wants to make sure funds have the evidence to back their claims and are not promising exclusions that they can’t guarantee,” Ms Court said.

Diversa paid $13,320 in compliance with the infringement notices on 22 December. ASIC noted that payment of an infringement notice is not an admission of guilt or liability. 

ASIC has previously issued infringement notices to investment manager Vanguard and ASX-listed energy company Tlou Energy as part of its action against greenwashing.

The issue of greenwashing is among ASIC’s enforcement priorities for 2023, with the regulator vowing to take enforcement action where necessary.

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ASIC issues infringement notice against super trustee for greenwashing

The regulator has taken further action against alleged greenwashing.

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