FTC Must Strengthen Its Greenwashing Approach submits comment regarding the need for more guidance and regulation

| Laura Smith

The FTC is examining its Green Guides and soliciting public comment about the benefits and impact of the marketing guidance, as well as whether the commission should consider rulemaking related to greenwashing (which it generally defines as unfair and deceptive environmental benefit claims).

Today, submitted a comment urging the FTC to both revise its guides and initiate a rulemaking proceeding in order to further prevent consumer (and environmental) harm.

As explained in more detail in the comment,’s work tracking and exposing deceptive environmental benefit claims makes clear that greenwashing is a pervasive problem across a wide range of industries. Further, because environmental issues are so complex, consumers – a majority of whom prefer eco-friendly products and are even willing to pay more for them – often have no choice but to rely on the environmental claims because there is generally no easy way to verify the truthfulness of this type of marketing. As such, brands take advantage of this informational asymmetry, harming not only consumers and honest competitors, but the environment as well.

While the FTC’s Green Guides can be helpful to honest companies trying to ensure their marketing complies with the FTC Act, deceptive marketers will continue to flout the law and take advantage of consumers unless the FTC steps in with a heavier hand. Which is why is urging the commission to initiate a proceeding to consider a rulemaking relating to unqualified recyclable claims, among other potential topics, under its FTC Act authority. is also urging the commission to revise its Green Guides to provide additional guidance regarding sustainability and aspirational claims, two commonly used types of greenwashing.

To read’s full comment, click here.

Laura Smith

As Legal Director, Laura is responsible for overseeing’s overall legal strategy. She believes that efficient and ethical markets only work if there is complete – and accurate – information…

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