Code for Environmental Claims
The object of this Code is to ensure that advertisers and marketers develop and maintain rigorous standards when making environmental claims in advertising and to increase consumer confidence to the benefit of the environment, consumers and industry.
Providing clear, straightforward, environmental information has benefits for consumers and business alike. Information about the environmental impacts and qualities of products and services and environmental claims (sometimes called 'green' claims) can help consumers make informed buying choices.
All advertising shall adhere to the laws of New Zealand and the principles and guidelines set out in this Code. The ASA Code of Ethics and the Code for Comparative Advertising should also be consulted, where relevant.
Advertisers should also be aware of the relevant Fact Sheets published by the Commerce Commission including Guidelines for Green Marketing, December 2008, Guidelines for Carbon Claims, July 2009 and Environmental Claims, August 2010 – see http://www.comcom.govt.nz/environmental-claims/.
This Code covers all words and visual depictions in all advertising containing environmental claims and includes packaging shown in advertisements.
In interpreting the Code emphasis will be placed on compliance with both the principles and the spirit and intention of the Code. The guidelines are merely examples, by no means exhaustive, of how the principles are to be interpreted and applied. It is also possible for an advertisement to be in breach of the principle without being in breach of a specific guideline. Upon complaint, the ASCB is vested with discretion to ensure a common-sense outcome. It is important to note that in considering a complaint both the likely audience and media placement, that is when and where the advertisement is broadcast, printed, or displayed, are key factors in determining Code compliance. Please note there may also be guidance notes to assist with interpretation for this Code.
"Environment" includes ecosystems and their constituent parts, including people and communities; natural and physical resources; and the qualities and characteristics or locations, places and areas.
"Environmental claim" means any statement, symbol or graphic that indicates an environmental aspect of a service, product, component or packaging and includes references to sustainability, recycling, carbon neutrality, energy efficiency, use of natural products or impact on animals and the natural environment.
"Environmental impact" means any change to the environment, whether adverse or beneficial, wholly or partially resulting from an organisation’s activities or products.
"Life cycle" means consecutive and interlinked stages of a product from raw material acquisition or generation of natural resources to final disposal or use, and recycling.
Advertisements making an environmental claim should be prepared with a due sense of social responsibility to consumers and to society.
Advertisements making environmental claims should not contain any statement or visual presentation or create an overall impression which directly or by implication, omission, ambiguity or exaggerated claim is misleading or deceptive or is likely to deceive or mislead the consumer. (Obvious hyperbole, identifiable as such, is not considered to be misleading)
Advertising Standards Authority New Zealand, PO Box 10-675, Wellington 6143. PH (04) 472 7852 FAX (04) 471 1785 Email firstname.lastname@example.org