If not, listen up to protect your business from being prosecuted for deceptive advertising and stigmatized by charges of “green washing.”
When it comes to green marketing laws, here’s what you need to do:
- Avoid broad environmental claims – such as “green” and “eco-friendly” – unless they can be qualified with specific environmental benefits.
- Be careful with the use of certifications and seals of approval. Even if you have legitimate green accreditation, you are still obliged to clearly and prominently identify specific environmental benefits. Also, disclose any material connections you may have to the certifying organization.
- Be judicious with your use of green terms and phrases. Terms such as “made with renewable materials,” “biodegradable” or “made with recycled materials” can be misinterpreted by consumers as meaning something more than what is being claimed. You can minimize the risk with “made with renewable materials” and other phrases, for example, by identifying the material you are referring to and explaining why it is renewable.
The best way to educate yourself about green marketing laws and receive guidance is by reading the FTC’s most up-to-date publication, Green Guides. To access a copy, click here.
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