WASHINGTON — The Federal Trade Commission (FTC) has issued revised “Green Guides” designed to help marketers ensure that the claims they make about the environmental attributes of their products are truthful and non-deceptive.
The revisions includes updates to the existing Guides, plus new sections on the use of carbon offsets, “green” certifications and seals, and renewable energy and renewable materials claims.
The new section on certifications and seals prompted the Textile Rental Services Association (TRSA) to review “the update's implication on the association's new Clean Green designation that verifies the environmental friendliness of textile services operations.”
In its weekly e-newsletter, TRSA says it is “confident that the Clean Green logo design aligns properly with the new guidelines.” The Green Guides stipulate that use of a symbol should clearly convey the basis for the certification, the association explains, and the washing machine in the Clean Green seal is an “indisputable indicator that the program evaluates plant production processes.”
The introduction of environmentally friendly products into the marketplace is a win for consumers who want to purchase greener products, and producers who want to sell them, but only if marketers' claims are truthful and substantiated, says FTC Chairman Jon Leibowitz. “The FTC's changes to the Green Guides will level the playing field for honest business people, and it is one reason why we had such broad support,” he says.
The Green Guides are not agency rules or regulations, but instead describe the types of environmental claims the FTC may or may not find deceptive. The FTC can take enforcement action against deceptive claims, which ultimately can lead to FTC order prohibiting deceptive advertising and marketing, and fines if those orders are later violated.