ASX Listed Company Pays Two Infringement Notices For Greenwashing in Market Announcements

Fertoz Limited (Fertoz) has paid A$37,560 to comply with two infringement notices issued by the Australian Securities and Investments Commission (ASIC) in which ASIC alleged it made false or misleading statements regarding its Reforestation Project in the Philippines (Philippines Reforestation Project). 

On 15 November 2023, Fertoz, an ASX listed entity specialising in fertilizer mining, manufacturing and supply, made statements in a presentation published on the ASX that said that the Philippines Reforestation Project would obtain an offtake partner or receive funding for the project by the end of 2023, and begin planting the initial hectares in the respective area of the project in quarter 4, 2023.

ASIC alleges that the statements were false or misleading as Fertoz had:

  • Ended funding discussions with two prospective offtake partners in April and August 2023 resulting in delays in securing a funding partner and initial planting;
  • Not signed any letters of intent, non-disclosure agreements or engaged in advanced discussions with new offtake partners that were at the stage of reaching completion at the end of 2023; and
  • Not secured any funding necessary for the progress of the Philippines Reforestation Project.

ASIC Deputy Chair Sarah Court said: “This case is another example of ASIC enforcement action where we consider there to be inaccurate or misleading statements made in sustainability-related claims. Greenwashing continues to be in our sights and remains an enforcement priority.”

Fertoz paid the infringement notices on 21 June 2024. Payment of an infringement notice is not an admission of guilt or liability.