Sustainability Advertising & Navigating FTC Green Guides

Spring is a season of excitement in the Minneapolis advertising industry. Campaigns are kicking off, the weather is warming up, and everything is turning green. And speaking of green, spring is also a season where we see an uptick in sustainability advertising. While sustainability is a great space to play in, it needs to come with a solid awareness of legal compliance and FTC standards. Our friends at Fredrikson are here to walk you through what to look for, and how to do right by our industry and your clients as you highlight their excellence in sustainability.

Greetings, conscientious businesses and sustainability advocates. As you embark on promoting your environmentally responsible endeavors, it’s paramount to adhere to legal standards that safeguard both consumers and the integrity of your messaging. Let’s delve into the essential legal considerations surrounding sustainability advertising, particularly in accordance with the FTC Green Guides – your indispensable compass for navigating the complex terrain of eco-marketing ethics.

The FTC Green Guides serve as the bedrock for truthfulness and transparency in advertising, particularly concerning environmental claims. Their fundamental purpose is to thwart deceptive practices and ensure that consumers are not misled by exaggerated or unfounded assertions of eco-friendliness.

To ensure your sustainability advertising remains legally sound, here are several pivotal points to bear in mind:

Substantiate Claims

Any assertions regarding the environmental attributes of your products or practices must be substantiated by evidence. Rigorous research and comprehensive data are imperative to validate claims such as “sustainably sourced” or “carbon-neutral.”

Clarity and Precision

Ambiguity has no place in sustainability advertising. Clearly articulate the specific environmentally friendly features of your offerings, whether it be the utilization of recycled materials, reliance on renewable energy sources, or reductions in carbon emissions.

Guard Against Greenwashing

Uphold the highest standards of integrity by refraining from greenwashing – the practice of exaggerating or misrepresenting the environmental benefits of your products. Transparency and honesty should underscore all sustainability claims to foster consumer trust.

Consider the Entire Lifecycle

Adopt a holistic perspective that extends beyond the product itself to encompass its entire lifecycle, from raw material extraction to disposal. Demonstrating a commitment to minimizing environmental impact at every stage enhances credibility and authenticity.

Stay Abreast of Regulatory Changes

The landscape of sustainability regulation is dynamic, as are the FTC Green Guides. Stay vigilant and remain informed about any updates or revisions to ensure ongoing compliance with evolving legal standards.

In conclusion, while the pursuit of sustainability is commendable, it must be accompanied by a steadfast commitment to legal compliance. By adhering to these legal considerations and upholding the principles of transparency and accountability, you can effectively communicate your dedication to environmental stewardship while mitigating legal risks. Let us proceed with diligence and integrity as we endeavor to create a greener, more sustainable future.


Questions? Contact Courtney Thompson, AdFed Counsel. The information in this article is for your general education only and cannot replace the relationship that you have with your attorney. Your use of the information does not create an attorney-client or any other contractual relationship between you and Fredrikson. Fredrikson is proud to be an annual sponsor of AdFed.