On Wednesday, April 30, the FTC will hold a one day workshop to examine green packaging claims. Consumer products frequently contain claims about the packaging’s environmental attributes. In the past, these were usually claims about the packaging’s recyclability or biodegradability. More recently, new green claims such as “sustainable” and “renewable” have emerged, and the use of environmental seals and certifications has become more frequent. As part of the workshop, marketers and marketing and environmental experts will discuss trends in green packaging claims. The workshop will also examine how consumer’s perceive green packaging claims.
You can attend tomorrow’s workshop at the FTC’s Conference Center at 601 New Jersey Ave., N.W. in Washington starting at 9:00 a.m. You can also view a live webcast of the workshop from the workshop’s website, where you’ll also find links to public comments and other information.
The workshop is part of the FTC’s review of its Guides for the Use of Environmental Marketing Claims, or “Green Guides.” Thus, the workshop will also explore whether the FTC should revise the Green Guides’ guidance on using traditional green packaging claims and whether it should expand the Green Guides to cover more recent and emerging packaging claims. In addition, the workshop will examine substantiation issues raised by green packaging claims and environmental seals and certifications. An agenda for the workshop can be found here.
In November 2007, the FTC announced its review of the Green Guides and its intention to hold public workshops in connection with this review. The first workshop, on carbon offsets and renewable energy certificates, was held in January 2008. You can find a write-up of this workshop here. We will send out a similar summary after tomorrow’s green packaging workshop. In addition to tomorrow’s workshop, the FTC has indicated it may hold a third workshop on consumer perception of green marketing claims, but the FTC has not announced a date for such a workshop.