FTC Tackles Green Building, Textiles In Latest Green Claims Workshop

by | Jun 7, 2008

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ftc_green_building.jpgThe Federal Trade Commission has announced the third in a series of public workshops being held as part of the agency’s regulatory review of the “Guides for the Use of Environmental Marketing Claims,” commonly known as the Green Guides.

The workshop will be held in Washington, DC, on July 15, 2008, to examine developments in environmental claims for building and textiles and the consumer perception of such claims. The Commission’s first Green Guides workshop, held in January, examined issues concerning the marketing of carbon offsets and renewable energy certificates. The most recent workshop, held in April, examined green packaging claims.

The FTC says that green claims have increased dramatically, and this trend has been particularly prevalent in the marketing of green building and textiles. In the textile arena, there has been an increase in the use of environmental claims to sell products made from organic cotton and bamboo fiber. In the building market, green claims are prevalent for a wide range of building products, including flooring, carpeting, paint, wallpaper, insulation, and windows.

In addition, builders are making claims that the buildings or homes they construct are green. There also has been an increase in the number of environmental seals and third-party certification programs purporting to verify the positive environment impact of textiles, building materials, and buildings.

The FTC’s July workshop will provide an opportunity for interested parties to study green textile and building claims. Specifically, topics for the workshop will include: 1) consumer perception of environmental claims for buildings and textile products; 2) the state of substantiation for green building and textile claims; and 3) the need for additional or updated FTC guidance in these areas.

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