The U.S. Federal Trade Commission (FTC) has come up with certain alterations to its Green Guides. The agency released a draft of the changes in October. The organization is also in the midst of accepting suggestions and comments from business firms before finalizing the rules.
The revised Green Guides advise marketers not to make blanket or general claims that a product is “environmentally friendly” or “eco-friendly,” as well as caution them not to use unqualified certifications or seals of approval and that the certifications or seals should be specific and clear.
The Green Guides Forum, held by the University of Oregon’s Green Product Design Network, had a discussion on Wednesday which highlighted the facts regarding how far ahead many of Oregon’s businesses are in developing and marketing environmentally friendly practices.
Reviews say that the proposed guide is far from perfect. Some of the biggest proposed changes (PDF) include new guidance on marketers’ use of product certifications and seals of approval, as well as claims for renewable energy, renewable materials, and carbon offsets.
Certain companies in Oregon say that any green claims will be carefully scrutinized by savvy consumers. But some are of the opinion that the guides are aimed at protecting less savvy consumers.
Eric Brody, Principal of Shift Advantage, a sustainability consultancy of the Eco Index, released by Outdoor Industry Association and surveys conducted by the FTC, said that 27 percent of consumers think that when a product is called “green” or “eco-friendly” it means that it is made of recycled materials, totally free of toxics and will break down easily when thrown away.