As businesses seek to attract environmentally-minded and sustainability-focused consumers, many are increasingly finding themselves the targets of complaints alleging “greenwashing”. “Greenwashing” refers to the practice of companies promoting supposed environmental benefits or advertising their sustainability bona fides through advertising or labelling that is perceived as false, misleading or vague. Consumers and environmental groups alike have pressed forward on alleged “greenwashing” complaints against companies in a variety of industries, part of a rising wave of attention to environmental, social and governance (“ESG”) issues. Please read our full note here.
ESG issues are increasingly taking centre stage for both regulators and investors, particularly in the wake of the global Covid-19 pandemic. “Greenwashing” will continue to be a salient issue for industries across jurisdictions, particularly in relation to plastics and recycling, as regulators, consumers and environmental groups keep up the pressure via lawsuits, regulatory complaints and other actions. Investors are also coming under increasing scrutiny over their involvement in the plastics industry, with a recent report discussing the main producers and funders of single-use plastics.