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28 Jun 2024

Public Accountant features DMAW Lawyers' Nicole Mead

DMAW Lawyers' ESG and sustainability expert Nicole Mead spoke recently with Public Accountant about greenwashing within Australian businesses, particularly focusing on the legal implications, risks for SMEs, and the role of accountants in mitigating these risks.

Nicole says "Both the ACCC and ASIC have identified greenwashing and sustainability-related issues as an enforcement priority for the year... We’ve seen them ramp up, first with infringement notices and enforceable undertakings, and now, we’re seeing court proceedings as well.”

"ASIC and ACCC aren’t using that angle at the moment; but, it’s plausible that, if you’re allowing or encouraging your business to make statements that comprise greenwashing, you could be liable for a breach of directors’ duties."

Check out the full article via The Public Accountant for more on greenwashing risks and how to avoid them.

A roll of fake grass

What is greenwashing?

Greenwashing is a term used to describe practices that are presented as being environmentally, socially or ethically conscious, without actually meeting those claims. ASIC defines it as “the practice of misrepresenting the extent to which a financial product or investment strategy is environmentally friendly, sustainable or ethical”.

It is important to recognise that greenwashing does not relate only to environmental issues, but includes a broader spectrum of ESG (environment, sustainability and corporate governance) related topics. For example, a company’s claim that it does not invest in tobacco products will need to consider the matters set out below to ensure it is not greenwashing.

Find out more in our article "ASIC is scrubbing up on greenwashing - here's what you need to know."


Our team works closely with clients to identify and develop ways to integrate ESG-related solutions into business as usual, with the goal of benefitting clients, their shareholders as well as the communities they operate in. We want to ensure you not only legally comply with ESG requirements, but also strengthen your position in the market.

From issues relating to climate change, environment, human rights, supply chains, directors’ duties, anti-bribery, corruption, native title, Aboriginal heritage and work health and safety – the list goes on – we have the myriad of issues covered.

Find out more about how our ESG and sustainability experts can assist your business.


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