On Tuesday, the FTC announced that it will hold a one-day
workshop on July 15 to examine green building and textile claims. As in other areas of the economy, claims
about the environmental attributes and benefits of buildings, building
materials, and textiles have increased significantly. Building materials suppliers are making green
claims on a wide range of materials; for example: non-toxic, green, or renewable flooring;
lumber from certified and managed forests or that has been recycled or
reclaimed; and natural or organic paints.
Homes and other buildings are also being marketed as green or
eco-friendly. Green textile claims
include organic or environmentally friendly cotton and wool and synthetic
fibers such as nylon and polyester made from recycled materials. Certification programs verifying the
environmental attributes and benefits of such products have also proliferated.
The workshop will explore consumer perceptions of such building and textile claims, how such claims are, or can be, substantiated, and whether the FTC should update its Guides for the Use of Environmental Marketing Claims, or “Green Guides,” to address green building and textile claims. The workshop will be held at the FTC’s Conference Center
The workshop is the third in a series conducted as part of the FTC’s review of its Green Guides. 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. The second workshop, on green packaging claims, was held on April 30. You can find a write-up of this workshop here.