Future Super has been fined for greenwashing

An Australian super company brandished as a sustainable option has just been fined for greenwashing. What is it and why does it matter?
What is greenwashing?

Editorial note: The Daily Aus has engaged in commercial partnerships with Future Super.

A superannuation company has been fined for greenwashing by the Australian Securities and Investments Commission (ASIC).

Future Super was established almost 10 years ago and invests in renewable energy. It was found to have overstated its positive environmental impact in a Facebook post published in 2019. The company reported the post to the regulator and it was taken down in October 2022.

Future Super has paid an infringement notice worth over $13,000.

What is greenwashing?

Greenwashing is when a business misrepresents how environmentally friendly, sustainable or ethical their product or strategy is.

This can mislead an investor or customer or distort the information they use to make an informed decision about the business.

ASIC has issued greenwashing infringement notices to four other Australian businesses since October last year. They’ve also commenced Federal Court proceedings against another business for greenwashing.

The Facebook post

The greenwashing claim relates to a Facebook post regarding Future Super’s work to redirect the super funds under their management out of fossil fuel investments.

The post included the phrase: “Naysayers don’t join together and move nearly $400 million out of fossil fuels.”

In their analysis of the post, ASIC argued Future Super had “no basis” to claim the entire sum of money under their care was previously invested in fossil fuels at other super funds, before being diverted to their fund.

Future Super’s response to greenwashing claim

Future Super said its Facebook post was “missing an important caveat”. The company self-reported the incident to ASIC, and paid the infringement notice last month.

The post was meant to display that $400 million had been diverted from funds exposed to fossil fuel investment, instead of implying they had been taken directly from fossil fuel investments. It had been seen by less than 28 Facebook users before being taken down.

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