Guides for the Use of Environmental Marketing Claims, Project No. P954501
Tighten up your requirements for what "green" means. According to a new report by the North American environmental-marketing company TerraChoice, 95% of consumer products examined that claim to be eco-friendly are guilty of greenwashing, including: vague language such as “all-natural,” no proof of environmental claims, and the use of fake labels designed to imply that the product has a third party endorsement. Interestingly, the study found that “big box” retailers tend to stock more “green” products and more products that provide legitimate environmental certifications (like organic) than smaller “green” boutique-style stores. This report comes on the heels of FTC’s announcement to revise its “Green Guides” guidelines. In an effort to reduce confusion among consumers trying to decipher the wide variety of green claims, the commission is revising its guidelines for companies seeking to promote their products as environmentally friendly. The report, The Sins of Greenwashing: Home and Family Edition, examines over 5,000 consumer products in 34 stores in the U.S. and Canada and finds 12,061 “green” claims.