Companies Certified by 3rd Party Labels Should Applaud the New FTC Green Guides

The long-awaited update will distinguish "true green" from "greenwashing"

Oct 08, 2010, 08:05 ET from Green Seal, Inc.

WASHINGTON, Oct. 8 /PRNewswire/ -- Wed., Oct. 6, the U.S. Federal Trade Commission finally released proposed revisions to its Guides for the Use of Environmental Marketing Claims ("Green Guides").  The Green Guides were last updated 13 years ago, long before green became the new black in marketing.

Green Seal Inc. applauds the FTC for providing thorough and clarifying guidance to marketers. As an independent 3rd party certifier of products and services, Green Seal has been operating according to the guidelines of the FTC for years.

"Consumers have been misled for too long by environmental labels of unclear meaning and origin," said Dr. Arthur Weissman, President & CEO of Green Seal.  "More clarity about who is verifying a company's environmental claims and the basis for certification will help to inform consumers about what they are really purchasing. And the truth about the connection between the certification program and the manufacturer will surely separate the credible, independent programs from the many questionable labels that have been recently proliferating." Green Seal participated in and presented at the FTC workshops held to assist in the development of the revisions of the Green Guides.

True 3rd party certification, as defined by the U.S. EPA in separate guidance documents, requires open, peer-reviewed standard development as well as transparent criteria for the awarding of certification.  The EPA also requires clear consumer communication about the nature of the certification. This transparency, now reinforced by the revised Green Guides, will likely narrow the playing field to the credible, independent certifiers of environmental products and services.

This is good news for product manufacturers and service providers who have been doing the hard work of sustainability. These companies represent leadership in their industries by significantly reducing their environmental and health footprint. The misleading marketers who have taken advantage of confused consumers and purchasers will now have the FTC to answer to.

About Green Seal Inc.

Green Seal is a nonprofit organization, founded in 1989, with the mission of safeguarding human health and the environment. Green Seal is a science-based standard development and certification body that is accredited by the American National Standards Institute. Products only become Green Seal-certified after rigorous testing and evaluation, including on-site audits. For additional information or to contact Green Seal Inc. visit

SOURCE Green Seal, Inc.