South Korea's environment ministry is planning to punish companies that make forged sustainability claims with a fine of up to 3 million won ($2,300), following a string of legal complaints against large companies accused of greenwashing, including through carbon offset use.
While the regulator is currently able to fine greenwashing companies, it needs to follow a complex process to determine the penalty amount. The new regulation is expected to simplify this process and allow the ministry to take a stronger stance on greenwashing.
This move follows a string of warnings issued by the environment ministry to major energy and steel companies in the country, recommending “evidence-based, factual” advertising, according to documents provided by National Assembly member Sungjoon Jin.
The fine comes on the heels of a global crackdown on greenwashing. Last August, France banned fossil fuel advertisements, which will also include fossil gas later this year. The European Union is also expected to publish an ‘anti-greenwashing law’ that will ban green claims unless backed up with evidence.