Sustainability: FTC Examines Greenwashing

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.


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2 thoughts on “Sustainability: FTC Examines Greenwashing

  1. FormStore Incorporated has made a substantial commitment becoming more “Green”. After carefull research, FormStore has commited to 100% Wind Power for all of our eletrical usage in both of our St. Louis, MO facilities. This commitment is equivalent to the carbon dioxide recovery of 700 acres of forest, prevention of 867 metric tons of carbon dioxide and of taking almost 200 cars off the road for an entire year.

    This decision means that all of FormStore’s patented LaserWell membership ID cards and all of our Digital Print and direct mail will be produced with 100% Wind Power. We chose this as our first of several “Green” initiatives since Wind Power is closely regulated, readily avaialble, scalable and easily verifiable.

    For more information contact:

    Paul Edwards, CDC
    FormStore Incorporated

  2. Pingback: Don’t take “We’re Green” for granted « Designed 2 Print

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