Consumers are increasingly considering the environment when making purchasing decisions.

They may be willing to pay extra for a product or service that appears more environmentally friendly compared to alternative, but this is an area where they can easily be deceived.

Claims related to the environment often involve recycling, biodegradability, and the use of recycled materials or natural substances. If you make such claims, it is essential to ensure they are truthful, scientifically supported, and backed up with evidence.

To assist you in understanding your responsibilities when making environmental claims and to prevent violations of the Fair Trading Act, the Commerce Commission have issued the Environmental Claims Guidelines.

These guidelines outline general principles and provide examples of previous cases handled by the Commission and serve as a reminder to:

  1. Maintain honesty in your claims.
  2. Ensure accuracy in the information you provide.
  3. Be specific about the environmental benefits of your product or service.
  4. Substantiate your claims with reliable evidence.
  5. Use clear and understandable language.
  6. Avoid exaggerations or misleading statements.
  7. Exercise caution when relying on tests or surveys.

View the Guidelines

source: Commerce Commission NZ