FTC’s New Green Guides For Making Environmental Claims


Purpose of the Green Guides -

The Federal Trade Commission (FTC) recently adopted revised Guides for the Use of Environmental Marketing Claims (Green Guides). The 2012 Green Guides, which modify a 1998 version, are not binding regulations but are intended as guidelines for companies making environmental marketing claims. The Green Guides are intended to “help marketers avoid making environmental marketing claims that are unfair or deceptive under Section 5 of the FTC Act.” The FTC notes that the revised Green Guides will help it evaluate environmental marketing claims and decide whether to use its statutory enforcement powers. Over the years, the FTC has brought several actions involving deceptive environmental marketing claims, and the revised Green Guides likely indicate areas that the Commission may focus on in the future.

General Principles For Acceptable Marketing Claims -

The Green Guides outline general principles that apply to any environmental marketing claims. They stress that all reasonable interpretations of environmental marketing claims must be truthful, must not be misleading, and must be supported by a reasonable basis. According to the FTC, “[i]n the context of environmental marketing claims, a reasonable basis often requires competent and reliable scientific evidence.” The Commission asserts that the Green Guides will help companies through this process by explaining how reasonable consumers are likely to interpret claims, describing the basic elements considered necessary to substantiate claims, and presenting options for qualifying a claim in order to avoid perceptions of deception. The Green Guides address claims about the environmental attributes of a product, package, or service, regardless of whether it is being marketed to individuals or in a notable clarification, in a business-to-business context.

Please see full alert below for more information.

LOADING PDF: If there are any problems, click here to download the file.

DISCLAIMER: Because of the generality of this update, the information provided herein may not be applicable in all situations and should not be acted upon without specific legal advice based on particular situations.

© King & Spalding | Attorney Advertising

Written by:


King & Spalding on:

Readers' Choice 2017
Reporters on Deadline

"My best business intelligence, in one easy email…"

Your first step to building a free, personalized, morning email brief covering pertinent authors and topics on JD Supra:

Sign up to create your digest using LinkedIn*

*By using the service, you signify your acceptance of JD Supra's Privacy Policy.

Already signed up? Log in here

*With LinkedIn, you don't need to create a separate login to manage your free JD Supra account, and we can make suggestions based on your needs and interests. We will not post anything on LinkedIn in your name. Or, sign up using your email address.