Green business, green careers and job training
Solutions that build smart communities with green careers and sustainable businesses!
HOME
EDITOR'S BLOG
FEATURE ARTICLES
GET STARTED

Save on Career Education through Lorman Education

Our readers are offered a discount on Lorman seminars and courses. Check out their business, management and legal offers at this link to qualify for our discounts. They also offer green business training opportunities. Please visit http://www.lorman.com/training/CaliforniaGreenSolutions for a complete listing of courses. Register online or call Lorman at 866-352-9539.
Home > By DEPARTMENTS > Sales and Marketing > Green Marketing

FTC Green Guides Updated for Green Marketing

Revised FTC Green Guides caution marketers to refine blanket, general claims that a product is “environmentally friendly” or “eco-friendly” with clear, measurable claims.

Find green business solutions

Proposed Revisions to the FTC Green Guides Released 10-6, 2010

The revised FTC Green Guides caution marketers not to make blanket, general claims that a product is “environmentally friendly” or “eco-friendly” because the FTC’s consumer perception study confirms that such claims are likely to suggest that the product has specific and far-reaching environmental benefits.

Very few products, if any, have all the attributes consumers seem to perceive from such claims, making these claims nearly impossible to substantiate.

Either because the FTC lacks a sufficient basis to provide meaningful guidance or because the FTC wants to avoid proposing guidance that duplicates rules or guidance of other agencies, the proposed Guides do not address use of the terms

  • “sustainable”
  • “natural”
  • “organic”
  • Organic claims made for textiles and other products derived from agricultural products are currently covered by the U.S. Department of Agriculture’s National Organic Program.

Unqualified Certifications or Seals of Approval

The proposed Guides also caution marketers not to use unqualified certifications or seals of approval – those that do not specify the basis for the certification.

The Guides more prominently state that unqualified product certifications and seals of approval likely constitute general environmental benefit claims, and they advise marketers that the qualifications they apply to certifications or seals should be

  • Clear
  • Prominent
  • Specific

Consumer Understanding of Environmental Claims

Next, the proposed revised Guides advise marketers how consumers are likely to understand certain environmental claims, including that a product is degradable, compostable, or “free of” a particular substance. For example, if a marketer claims that a product that is thrown in the trash is “degradable,” it should decompose in a “reasonably short period of time” – no more than one year.

New FTC Guidance Proposed

The proposed changes would update the FTC Green Guides by giving advice about claims that are not addressed in the current Green Guides, such as claims about the use of “renewable materials” and “renewable energy.”

The FTC’s consumer perception research suggests that consumers could be misled by these claims because they interpret them differently than marketers intend. Because of this, the Guides advise marketers to provide specific information about the materials and energy used. Moreover, marketers should not make unqualified renewable energy claims if the power used to manufacture any part of the product was derived from fossil fuels.

Carbon Offset Claims

The proposed revised Green Guides also provide new advice about carbon offset claims. Carbon offsets fund projects that reduce greenhouse gas emissions in one place in order to counterbalance or “offset” emissions that occur elsewhere.

The Green Guides advise marketers to disclose if the emission reductions that are being offset by a consumer’s purchase will not occur within two years. They also advise marketers to avoid advertising an offset if the activity that produces the offset is already required by law.

Comment on the FTC Proposal

The FTC is seeking comment on all aspects of its proposal. Examples include:

  • How should marketers qualify “made with renewable materials” claims, if at all, to avoid deception?
  • Should the FTC provide guidance concerning how long consumers think it will take a liquid substance to completely degrade?
  • How do consumers understand “carbon offset” and “carbon neutral” claims? Is there any evidence of consumer confusion concerning the use of these claims?

A complete set of questions can be found in Section VII of the Guides – Request for Comment.

In addition, the proposed Green Guides have been reorganized and simplified where possible so they are easier for businesses to read and use.

FTC Green Guides Online

A summary of the proposed revised Guides can be downloaded (PDF) at www.ftc.gov.

They can be found on the FTC’s website and as a link to this press release at Download (PDF).



Edited by Carolyn Allen, owner/editor of California Green Solutions
Green Solution Providers
Green companies directory
Submit
your green solutions - business, nonprofit, government program.
It's free.
| ftc | Green Business Practices | green marketing | certification |

Share in Social Media

Sign Up For News & Information
Subscribe to our free solutions newsletter
BONUS DOWNLOAD (PDF)
"Ten+ Tips for Greening Your Office"

SUBSCRIBE HERE
Read prior issues: California GreenLines

Search For Green Solutions

Custom Search
Green Career Center
Green Job Wizard
Career Certifications Directory

green job training certifications
Green Biz Center
Solutions For Green
Directory of Green Companies

Solutions for Alternative Energy

rose in natural systems
Green Living Center
Solutions for Green: Consumers

Solutions for Remodeling

Backyard Nature Center

INSTANT GREEN POLL

"Knowing is not enough; we must apply. Willing is not enough; we must do." Goethe
RECENT ARTICLES
SITE NAVIGATION
ABOUT US

Related Articles

California's Green Economy is a Work in Progress, CCI adds a 2010 Update

PortTechLA is a clean technology transfer, incubation and commercialization incubator for SoCal

Green Innovation Parks are Sprouting

Related Green Resources

Marcom Tips
Interactive & Video Tips

Career Resources

We encourage lifelong learning to support sustainable communities and provide these select resources to help you pursue green and sustainable self-development:

Lorman Business Training Directory of On-line Business and Compliance Classes

Green Job Wizard Job and Career Certifications Directory

Job & Career Resources

Governance
Management
Manufacturing
Operations
Facilities
Transportation
Finance
Sales & Marketing
Human Resources

Green Economy

Business Sectors
Natural Resources

Solutions For Green

About Us ~ Privacy Policy
Contact Us ~ Home

Text Link Ads

AD: Place your link here

ABOUT CALIFORNIA GREEN SOLUTIONS

We help you green your career, workplace and community by connecting you to quality green, sustainable and high performance resources. California Green Solutions focuses attention on effective solutions that sustain our natural systems. You can support our editorial work by supporting our advertisers and spreading the word about best practices and green solutions.
California Green Solutions is a publication of Carolyn Allen ~ Copyright ©2006-2030 Carolyn Allen

B2B | Job Certifications | Alternative Energy | Events | Green Directory | LED Lights | Remodeling |
CONSUMERS | Backyard Nature | Senior Health | MultiMedia Marketing | Marketing | Networking Events | Japan |