Today, the U.S. Federal Trade Commission released for public review and comments proposed changes to its "Green Guides."
The document can be found here: “Proposed Revisions to the Green Guides.”
There are numerous proposed changes, but most significantly for the readers of this blog is the proposed expansion of the Green Guides to cover “made with renewable energy” and “carbon offsets” claims.
The proposed Green Guides advises marketers that they should not make unqualified renewable energy claims if the power used to manufacture any part of a product was derived from fossil fuels. In addition, marketers should qualify claims by specifying the source of renewable energy (e.g. wind or solar).
The proposal advises marketers to possess competent and reliable scientific evidence to support carbon offset claims, including using appropriate accounting methods to avoid selling reductions more than once. In addition, marketers should disclose if the offset purchase funds emissions reductions that will not occur for two years or longer. Finally, marketers should not advertise an offset if the offset acquisition is required by law.
The FTC is accepting comments on the draft Green Guides until December 10, 2010.