Household appliance manufacturer De Longhi Australia
has admitted to making false representations in its marketing
materials that its portable air conditioners are 'environmentally
friendly' and contain 'non-harmful gases' after
concerns were raised by the Australian Competition and Consumer
De Longhi sells a range of portable cooling units that use
harmful greenhouse gases - including R407C and R410A gases.
It also sells 'ECO' model coolers that use R290 - a low impact
global warming gas.
The company has now agreed to stop using unqualified claims
that its products are 'environmental friendly' after
the ACCC said its claims were in breach of the Trade Practices
It has amended advertising for its ECO models to specify
that R290 is the most environmentally friendly refrigerant
gas currently available for use in domestic portable air conditioners
and has published a corrective notice in the March edition
of the trade magazine Appliance Retailer. It has also
agreed to implement a trade practices compliance program.
"This is another reminder to businesses to be wary of engaging
in misleading green and environmental claims" - ACCC chairman
Graeme Samuel warned. "In particular, where traders are seeking
to make claims regarding the environmental benefits of their
products, they must ensure that they properly specify and
explain those benefits in order to avoid misleading consumers."
The ACCC released a guide
in February for companies using environmental claims to sell
their products. It said the action was necessary as a growing
number of companies are using green claims in advertising
to differentiate themselves and their products from their