FTC Releases Revised Green Guides

The Federal Trade Commission (FTC) has released revised Guides for the Use of Environmental Marketing Claims, also known as “Green Guides. It’s the first time in fourteen years that the FTC has updated the Green Guides which are intended to make sure that consumers get accurate advertising.

The updates include revisions to the existing Green Guides, plus new sections on the use of carbon off-sets, green certifications and seals, and renewable energy and renewable materials claims. It also contains new sections on “free- of” claims, “non-toxic” claims.

The FTC first introduced its guidelines in 1992 to address eight environmental marketing claims: general environmental benefit; degradable, biodegradable or photodegradable; compostable; recyclable; recycled content; source reduction; refillable; ozone safe; and ozone friendly. The Green Guides are not agency rules or regulations. Instead, they describe the types of environmental claims the FTC may or may not find deceptive.

There are more than 400 green certification systems and eco-friendly labels in a variety of industries, making it difficult to determine which company is “green” and which company is “greenwashing.” Two of the more notable green certifications are Green Seal in the U.S. and Canada’s EcoLogo.

© Scrap Tire News, November 2012