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March, 2024

UN Global Compact Network Australia teams up with Salterbaxter, Cahoot on anti-greenwashing course for marketers

The UN Global Compact Network Australia (UNGCNA) has joined forces with sustainability consultancy Salterbaxter and digital workforce learning provider Cahoot Learning to create a new training course aimed at combating greenwashing among marketers and communicators.

The course, titled ‘Greenwashing: Time to stop the spin cycle’, is set to commence on 11 March 2024. It was developed in response to an ACCC internet sweep of 247 Australian businesses, which found 57% were making concerning claims about their environmental credentials. The course aims to help marketing and communications professionals apply the eight principles of the ACCC’s ‘Making environmental claims: A guide for business’.

“There is increasing pressure to respond to consumer demands for environmentally responsible products and services. At the same time, presenting a company or its products and services as environmentally friendly when they are not undermines the trust of consumers and damages reputation. To avoid missteps and harness the potential of marketing as a force for good it’s critical more marketers build the know-how and confidence needed to engage on ESG topics,” said Executive Director at UNGCNA, Kate Dundas.

The curriculum includes practical insight, exercises, and examples, covering aspects such as the foundations of sustainability, how to identify examples of greenwashing, and ways to talk to others across the business about greenwashing and how to avoid it. The course was piloted with a group of UNGCNA participants late last year.

“Credible business action combined with creative engagement is critical to support the development and uptake of sustainable products and services,” said Managing Director of Salterbaxter Australia, Stu Wragg. Salterbaxter is Publicis Groupe’s global sustainability strategy and engagement consultancy.

“As public expectations that companies act on sustainability grows, marketers need to be careful not to inadvertently mislead consumers.”

According to Head of Learning & Culture at Cahoot Learning, Barbara Harvey, learning outcomes are always strengthened when participants learn together.

“A key feature of this course is the facilitation of peer-to-peer networking via the interactive learning platform – Cahoot Learning. Enrolled marketers can participate in discussions, reflections, activities and case studies, facilitated by experts from the UNGCNA and Salterbaxter team,” she said.

The UNGCNA is the Australian network of the UN Global Compact, with 335 participating organisations including over 75 listed companies, civil society organisations, and universities.

The UN Global Compact is the world’s largest corporate sustainability initiative, with more than 24,000 participating organisations, five Regional Hubs, 62 Local Networks covering 67 countries, and 15 country managers establishing networks in 34 other countries.