Online and off, consumers are bombarded with claims about green and sustainable features. Marketers and businesses are trying to tap into a growing desire of many Australians to actively look after people and planet when choosing consumer goods. Yet the nature of these claims means that consumers can’t verify them—they are left hoping that businesses are doing the right thing and following through on their sustainable promises.

In 2021, the CPRC undertook qualitative research to better understand what it’s like to be a consumer in Australia. Many people spoken to were sceptical about sustainability claims, expressing a belief that they are marketing tools rather than genuine commitments to improved environmental outcomes.

This report takes a closer look at how consumers are currently experiencing and using green claims. It also explores what factors influence whether a consumer trusts a green claim, if consumers attempt to fact-check green claims, and what would happen if they found out a business was engaging in 'greenwashing'.

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