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Keeping you in-the-know on environmental, social and governance developments

The FTC is giving renewed attention to its “Guides for the Use of Environmental Marketing Claims” (the Guides). These regulatory guidelines – often referred to as the FTC’s “Green Guides” – are enforceable guidance documents that outline the general principles governing environmental marketing claims. For example, if you want to label your product as “recyclable” you would need to consult the Guides to ensure you are doing so in a legally permissible way.

On December 14, 2022, the FTC voted unanimously to publish a request for comment on the Guides, indicating that the agency may revise the document for the first time since 2012. In its request, the FTC states that it is reviewing existing guidance relating to the following types of claims:

  • Carbon offsets claims;
  • Composability claims,
  • Degradability claims;
  • Recyclable claims;
  • Recycled content claims; and
  • Energy use/energy efficiency claims.

The request for comment states that agency is considering the addition of two new types of claims: organic claims and sustainability claims. The comment period will extend sixty days after the official publishing of the request, which is expected to come in mid-January of 2023.

For more information on the Guides’ existing principles and their application to environmental marketing claims members can check out our guidebook “Using the FTC’s Green Guides for Marketing”. We’ll be keeping an eye on the evolution of the Guides and will update our materials accordingly if and when the agency publishes its revisions.

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The Editor

Zachary Barlow is a licensed attorney. He earned his JD from the University of Mississippi and has a bachelor’s in Public Policy Leadership. He practiced law at a mid-size firm and handled a wide variety of cases. During this time he assisted in overseeing compliance of a public entity and litigated contract disputes, gaining experience both in and outside of the courtroom. Zachary currently assists the editorial team by providing research and creating content on a spectrum of ESG… View Profile