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Future Super slapped with greenwashing infringement notice by ASIC

By Reporter
2 minute read

The regulator has taken further action against alleged greenwashing.

The Australian Securities and Investments Commission (ASIC) has announced it has issued super fund promoter Future Super with an infringement notice as part of its ongoing action against alleged greenwashing.

The regulator said it was concerned that a Facebook post published by Future Super in 2019 may have been false or misleading by overstating the positive environmental impact of the fund. 

This Facebook post included the statement: ”Naysayers don’t join together to move nearly $400 million out of fossil fuels”.

According to ASIC, Future Super had approximately $400 million in total funds under management at the time of the post and had no basis to represent that the entirety of those funds had been invested in fossil fuels prior to being invested in the fund. 

“The post on the Future Super Fund Facebook page overstated the positive environmental impact of the fund and we were concerned it may be misleading to investors and potential investors,” commented ASIC deputy chair Sarah Court.

“This action should send a message to the financial services industry that ASIC is continuing to focus on greenwashing broadly, in statements to the market, disclosure documents, marketing material and on social media. Industry using social media to promote green claims are not immune from ASIC action.   

“We expect the industry to be able to stand by their sustainability statements and back these up with evidence.

The regulator has issued more than $150,000 in infringement notices related to greenwashing since October 2022, including to Vanguard and Diversa Trustees. It has also commenced civil proceedings in the Federal Court against Mercer Super for alleged greenwashing.

Future Super paid the infringement notices on 27 April. ASIC noted that payment of an infringement notice is not an admission of guilt or liability. 

In a statement provided to InvestorDaily, a Future Super spokesperson acknowledged that the Facebook post from 2019, which remained on the fund’s page until October last year, was “missing an important caveat”.

“Future Super self-reported this to ASIC and paid the infringement as a result on April 27 2023,” the spokesperson said.