Last week we joined ForestEthics and Washington Forest Law Center in submitting a false advertising complaint to the United States Federal Trade Commission (FTC). For years SFI, the timber-industry born wood and paper certification scheme has served as a tool to greenwash disastrous logging practices. See Greenpeace’s 2011 investigation for more. New York Times and Los Angeles Times followed the story, read the actual complaint here.
Green labels have proliferated in recent years, causing confusion in store shelves for consumers who may not be up to date on how each label was developed and whether or not the label’s standards are actually being enforced. last October, the FTC published the “Green Guides,” new guidance on green advertising, including what constitutes an actual independent environmental certification. We don’t think this fits the bill and we hope the government agrees. ‘Greenwash’ labels don’t just stall environmental progress- they also hurt businesses who are serious about the environment and deserve to distinguish themselves as leaders on the store shelf.