FTC to Review Green Marketing Guidelines

The Federal Trade Commission (FTC) has announced that it will begin a review of its environmental marketing guidelines and hold hearings or workshops over the next several months on a number of green marketing topics, including "sustainable" and "renewable" claims.

The FTC's Green Marketing Guides were first issued in 1992 and provide general principles for the use of "green" claims such as degradability, recyclability and recycled content.  Those guides were updated in 1996 and 1998.  Noting the increased number of green marketing claims now being made in the marketplace, the Commission has accelerated its regular review of the guidelines.  The first of several public workshops will be held on January 8, 2008, to address the marketing of carbon offsets and renewable energy certificates. 

ANA and other industry groups worked closely with the FTC on the development of the original green marketing guides in 1992.  While the guides do not have the force and effect of law, they provide marketers with important guidance on how to discuss the environmental attributes of their products, packaging or manufacturing process.  Given the interest of consumers in these issues and the rapid pace of technological changes, the Commission's review of the green marketing guides is timely.  We will closely follow this review process.

If you have any questions or comments about the FTC's plans to review the green marketing guides, please contact Dan Jaffe (djaffe@ana.net) or Keith Scarborough (kscarborough@ana.net) in ANA's Washington, DC office at (202) 296-1883.