Collaboration on sustainability goals is OK, says Commerce Commission

Collaboration on sustainability goals is OK, says Commerce Commission
(Source: Unsplash)

New guidelines outlining how businesses can work together on sustainability goals without breaching the competition law have been released by the Commerce Commission.

The guidelines aim to distinguish between illegal collusion and legitimate collaboration and provide businesses with practical examples to understand whether their initiatives comply with the competition law.

Antonia Horrocks, the commission’s competition GM, believes that it is important that competition law does not become a roadblock to genuine collective action on climate issues. 

“Tackling climate change requires collective action, and businesses are increasingly working together to deliver sector-wide sustainability initiatives,” she explained.

“Competition can drive markets to innovate to meet these requirements – and the Commerce Act protects competition for the benefit of New Zealanders.”

Draft guidelines were issued for public consultation in August, and the commissioner says the submissions received from businesses and industry bodies helped to shape the final document. 

“The guidelines provide a framework for businesses to understand how to work together to pursue sustainability goals,” added Horrocks. 

“We know this is a novel area, so we encourage businesses to contact us if unsure how to apply the guidance.”

The Collaboration and sustainability guidelines are now available on the Commission’s website.

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