Alert: FTC Environmental Guides

To: AAF Members
From: Clark Rector, Executive Vice President – Government Affairs
Re: FTC Environmental Guides

The Federal Trade Commission has released proposed changes to the “Green Guides” that give marketers guidance when making environmental claims. The Guides, which were first issues in 1992, have not been updated since 1998. While they do not have the force of law, they do give insight as to the standards the agency will use when taking enforcement actions.

The proposal would update the Guides to address issues not common at the time of the last revision, such as renewable materials, renewable energy and the use of carbon offsets. The revised Guides also caution against the use of broad non-specific claims, such as “environmentally friendly” or “eco-friendly.”

The proposed revision of the Green Guides can be found here (pdf 2 MB).

The FTC is accepting comment on the proposed revision until 2010. The AAF is reviewing the Guides and may issue comments. Do not hesitate to contact me if there are issues you believe should be addressed. More information on how you, or your company, can submit comments can be found in the FTC’s press release.

Please let me know if you have any comments or questions.