Understanding Environmental Marketing Claims

Understanding Environmental Marketing Claims

Green Guides

You see environmental claims everyday made by businesses about a product or service. These environmental claims may or may not influence your buying decision.  But when it comes to products and packaging, what do claims like "environmentally safe," "recyclable," "degradable" or "ozone friendly" really mean? The Federal Trade Commission (FTC) and the Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) want you to know.

The FTC has a variety of consumer and business education resources to help explain certain environmental claims.  “In recent years, businesses have increasingly used ‘green’ marketing to capture consumers’ attention and move Americans toward a more environmentally friendly future. But what companies think green claims mean and what consumers really understand are sometimes two different things,” said FTC Chairman Jon Leibowitz.  " The Green Guides will help businesses better align their product claims with consumer expectations.”

The changes to the “Green Guides” include new guidance on marketers’ use of product certifications and seals of approval, “renewable energy” claims, “renewable materials” claims, and “carbon offset” claims.

Although the FTC's Green Guides are for businesses and marketers, you will get a better understanding of environmental claims by knowing the guidelines and what the FTC allows.

FTC Resources

It will take a little time to explore all of these - but it will be time well-spent.!


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