ASIC targeting 2nd super fund over alleged greenwashing
Future Super has received an infringement notice from ASIC over alleged greenwashing, following the launching of the first proceedings by the corporate regulator against an Australian business alleging such conduct.
Editor’s note: This story was originally published on Lawyers Weekly’s sister brand, Money Management.
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In a statement, the Australian Securities and Investments Commission (ASIC) noted it was concerned that a Facebook post by Future Super Investment Services may have been false or misleading by overstating the positive environmental impact of the fund.
The post stated: “Naysayers don’t join together to move nearly $400 million out of fossil fuels.”
The Facebook post was published on 29 May 2019 and remained on the fund’s Facebook page until October 2022.
This was the second super fund to be targeted for alleged greenwashing, following civil proceedings launched by ASIC against Mercer Super back in February.
ASIC deputy chair Sarah Court said: “At the time of the Facebook post, Future Super had approximately $400 million in total funds under management and had no basis to represent that the entirety of those funds had been invested in fossil fuels prior to being invested in the fund.
“This action should send a message to the financial services industry that ASIC is continuing to focus on greenwashing broadly, in statements to the market, disclosure documents, marketing material and on social media. Industry using social media to promote green claims are not immune from ASIC action.”
Future Super paid the infringement notices on 27 April 2023. Payment of an infringement notice was not an admission of guilt or liability.
In March, ASIC warned that more greenwashing court cases would be coming.