Businesses must acquaint themselves with the definitions of sustainability as well new as the relevant legislation, industry representatives heard at the AIP National Conference, this month.
Emeritus Professor Harry Lovell, spoke at the event saying, customers now want to know what a business’s environmental credentials are, and whether or not they are tangible.
Lovell said, “Our concern has to be at the functional level, you have got to be really careful about what you say on packaging because you are going to have to prove it.”
In his presentation, Lovell outlined the specifications for environmental claims laid out by the ACCC under the Green Marketing Act, which says claims must be accurate, substantiated and specific.
Claims should also be in plain language, only be made for real benefits, should not overstate benefits, should make it clear whether claimed benefits refer to product or content, consider whole life cycle and not be over-stated.
Lovell also said that the most recent and relevant definition of sustainability was released by the Sustainable Packaging Alliance, which companies should take into account.
The definition is based on four key criteria that include;
Effective: social and economic;
Efficient: doing more with less;
Cyclic: optimising recovery, and
Safe: non-polluting and non-toxic.