Looking to get a green product out into the market? Follow the FTC’s recently revised green guidelines to avoid making false green claims. “The FTC rarely comes down on a company on these rules,” says Dave Stangis, VP of CSR/sustainability at Campbell Soup Company. But the public, and your competitors, just might. Here are a few of the common green claims that the FTC has addressed in its latest revisions. A full copy of the guidelines can be found at http://www.ftc.gov/green.
• Compostable: A product or package will break down in approximately the same time as the materials with which it is composted.
• Degradable: Organizations should not make unqualified degradable claims for items destined for landfills, incinerators or recycling facilities if decomposition will not occur within one year.
• Non-Toxic: Such claims should convey that an item is non-toxic both for humans and for the environment generally.
• Renewable Energy: Organizations should not make unqualified renewable energy claims if the power used to manufacture any part of the product was derived from fossil fuels.