Diversa Trustees has paid a $13,320 fine for alleged greenwashing after ASIC issued an infringement notice.
Diversa is the issuer of superannuation product Cruelty Free Super as trustee for Professional Super which is a sub-fund of the Tidswell Master Superannuation Plan.
In a media release, ASIC said it was concerned that statements on Cruelty Free Super’s website may have been false or misleading by overstating exclusions, otherwise known as investment screens.
In these statements, the fund claimed to prevent investment in companies involved in “polluting and carbon intensive activities”, “financing or support of activities which cause environmental and social harm” and “poor corporate governance”. ASIC said while some investment screens were applied by the fund, they were more specific and implemented on a more limited basis than the website had suggested.
Greenwashing is the practice of misrepresenting the extent to which a financial product or investment strategy is environmentally friendly, sustainable or ethical and is an enforcement priority for ASIC.
Diversa paid $13,320 in compliance with the infringement notices on 22 December 2022, which ASIC noted is not an admission of guilt or liability.
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