Executive Briefings

FTC Drafts New Guidelines on Making 'Green' Claims

The Federal Trade Commission has drafted, but not yet ratified, revised Guides for the Use of Environmental Marketing Claims, a.k.a "Green Guides" for communicating specific green claims like "biodegradable," "recyclable," or "carbon neutral."

The Guides were last revised in 1998 - long before the green movement had picked up steam. To understand how prevalent green marketing has become since that time, consider the research from TerraChoice that in the year between 2009 and 2010, the number of products claiming to be green increased by a whopping 73 percent. They also found that 95 percent of those products commit one or more of their so-called "seven sins of greenwashing." One gets a sense for how rampant false environmental claims may have become.

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The Federal Trade Commission has drafted, but not yet ratified, revised Guides for the Use of Environmental Marketing Claims, a.k.a "Green Guides" for communicating specific green claims like "biodegradable," "recyclable," or "carbon neutral."

The Guides were last revised in 1998 - long before the green movement had picked up steam. To understand how prevalent green marketing has become since that time, consider the research from TerraChoice that in the year between 2009 and 2010, the number of products claiming to be green increased by a whopping 73 percent. They also found that 95 percent of those products commit one or more of their so-called "seven sins of greenwashing." One gets a sense for how rampant false environmental claims may have become.

Read Full Article