Cleaning & Maintenance Management Online

Eco labels becoming a contested field

May 4, 2010
WASHINGTON — There are roughly 600 environmental certification labels worldwide — 80 alone in the United States — issued by various companies and non-profit organizations to guide consumers in their green product purchasing, according to the Washington Post.
The best certification systems have brought increased accountability to markets that used to be largely unregulated while others make environmental claims that cannot be proven — often referred to as greenwashing — prompting the Federal Trade Commission (FTC) to file charges against some manufacturers, the story stated.
EcoLogo, a consultant on verification, surveyed more than 2,200 North American products in 2008 and 2009 and found that more than 98 percent lacked proof to justify their claims, the story noted.
According to the article, the FTC plans to issue a new guide for environmental marketing claims within a few months to further discourage the practice of greenwashing.
Because certification is a self-regulated industry, the integrity of the various eco labels varies wildly, so consumers should be weary of claims from unrecognized certification labels, the story added.
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