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October 06, 2010


Robert Hii

Right on the nailhead Mr Makower!
Was complaining only yesterday that too many of us "eco" manufacturers play up one lousy factor in our products and claim it as eco.
All in an attempt to feed a green consumer that wants it environmentally less damaging but still with the bright colors and the bling and fancy packaging.Impossible I said.

sewa mobil

Nice article, thaks for sharing.

Andrew Weiss

Mr. Makower,

You bring up excellent points regarding the shortcomings of the most recent Green Guides update. As a business marketing major with a passion for sustainable corporate initiatives, I was immediately intrigued by the Federal Trade Commissions’ blatant and utter neglect of the most up-and-coming in green technologies. How does the FTC not consider cradle-to-cradle, biomimicry, and green chemistry when it is at the forefront of the product and packaging innovation discussion? Further, failing to provide at least some regulation as to who can claim “sustainable” and “green” on their packaging is simply irresponsible. Without more stringent guidelines, products like Clorox’s “Green Works” family can continue under the pretense of being eco-friendly home-cleaning goods, when, realistically, most of their solutions contain materials considered neither cost effective nor eco-friendly by the environmental community. Further, they can legally present themselves as the “greenest” option available, while Burlington-based Seventh Generation creates truly green home cleaning products.

Clorox is just one case; other companies continue to make these transparent moves to grab a spot in the increasingly popular green market, and without sufficient substantiation. Yes, I recognize that these companies are moving in the right direction and that only a small percentage of them maliciously and purposefully deceive their customers (as discussed in your greenwashing article), but I still feel that we have come to a point where firms must be held more accountable for their claims. By so doing, genuinely greener products will excel and diminish the competitive pressures imposed by illegitimate green claims.

It is my expectation that as more and more products include “environmentally friendly,” “eco-friendly,” and other green buzzwords, it will become increasingly difficult for firms to differentiate their products based on these environmental claims. Firms that truly retain their environmental competitive advantage will be those who continue to innovate in their value chain operations, product and packaging attributes, and sales and marketing strategies. While the revised Green Guide may not force these actions directly, it is my hope that further additions and enforcement of these directives will.

To conclude your post, you sign off with a statement, “The ‘Green Guides’ are finally out. Now, let's get on with our lives.” In a way, I was left with a strange feeling of hopelessness, that such a document has no present value to businesses and business leaders. Do you feel that such a document will ever create effective and influential change? Overall, I find the topic very intriguing and progressively important.

Thank you very much for your insightful discussion of the new green marketing guidelines and its implications.


The guides are a common-sense set of rules about what claims a company can and can't make, and what kind of substantiation and disclaimers are required for specific types of marketing messages,great lens will credit this and save.

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