It’s Earth Day! A perfect day to think about the FTC’s Green Guides, designed to help marketers develop claims about the environmental benefits of their products. The Green Guides address the following types of claims: (a) general environmental benefit claims; (b) carbon offset claims; (c) certifications and seals of approval; (d) “compostable” claims; (e) “degradable” claims; (f) “free-of” claims; (g) “non-toxic” claims; (h) “ozone-safe” and “ozone-friendly” claims; (i) “recyclable” and “recyclable content” claims; (j) “refillable” claims; (k) “renewable energy” claims; (l) “renewable materials” claims; and (m) source reduction claims.
The Green Guides describe the types of environmental claims the FTC may or may not find deceptive under Section 5 of the FTC Act. The FTC has brought many actions related to green claims, including the recovery of $1.76 million regarding “organic” claims, and we expect that they will continue to bring these types of actions, particularly as the focus on climate change increases. Accordingly, advertisers should carefully review the new Guides and ensure that their green claims comply with the FTC’s standards.
You can find more on the Green Guides, environmental marketing claims, and other key advertising and marketing, privacy, data security, and consumer product safety and labeling legal topics on Kelley Drye’s Advertising and Privacy Law Resource Center.