The Council of Small Business Organisations Australia (COSBOA) is grateful for the opportunity to contribute to the discussion on Greenwashing and its impact on Australia’s small business community.
This submission tackles the issue of 'Greenwashing' — a practice in which companies misrepresent their environmental responsibility. Given the current surge in businesses endorsing their Environmental, Social, and Governance (ESG) credentials, the frequency of Greenwashing accusations is on the rise.
COSBOA's recommends a collaborative approach to address Greenwashing, stressing the need for a regulatory framework that is both fair and competitive. Acknowledging the impact of ESG regulations on environmental and social outcomes, COSBOA advocates for stricter enforcement of laws against misleading representations.
This includes introducing a comprehensive ESG certification framework, aligning with global standards, and adapting to the local Australian context. Furthermore, COSBOA calls for the creation of government-backed awareness programs to help small business operators and their customers understand the implications of these regulations, alongside the development of clear marketing guidelines.
Finally, we propose any introduced penalties be proportionate and support be provided for businesses to correct their greenwashing errors. This holistic approach aims to ensure a more sustainable and equitable business landscape
For the full submission download the below PDF.