I know there have been a lot of sustainability posts lately, but there’s a lot going on recently! This post in particular covers an important development for everyone in the sustainability game–and those thinking about getting in it, too.
The Federal Trade Commission held its first in what will be a series of hearings on green advertising, particularly on the issue of offsets and where money given to offset organizations goes. If you’re unconvinced this is a worthy FTC issue, consider this:
‘Dubbed “the wild west” and “chaotic” by Katherine Hamilton of Ecosystem Marketplace, the U.S. carbon offset market has grown dramatically since 2005 while environmental marketing claims have gone relatively unchecked. Hamilton pegs the U.S. carbon offset market at $91 million. She expects the market to quadruple within the next five years.’
Of course, it’s not just offsets that are going to be considered by the FTC–all green marketing and advertising will soon come under scrutiny. Sites like EnviroMedia’s Greenwashing Index are popping up in an effort to combat and inform consumers about greenwashed claims but government intervention will be the only way to mandate regulation.
The point I’m slowly meandering towards is that everyone, including Four51, talking about sustainability and how they can help (however seemingly insignificant) is wise to be careful and deliberate about what is said because even the best and purest intentions can become problematic if they’re not provable.