How Green Is Your Business - Regulators Say Not Green Enough to Advertise It

Do you remember how every business used to claim that it was a green company or environmentally friendly? It got to the point where every company was claiming this, and therefore it didn't mean anything anymore. This was quite upsetting for us companies that were working very hard to stay within the rules, even coming up with business solutions to protect the environment.

Indeed, I can remember in the early 1990s I had designed some environmental reclaim equipment for the mobile car washing sector which I was involved with. I was quite proud of this accomplishment, but if I was in business today I couldn't advertise those accomplishments, as we have a new set of rules now. Okay so let's talk about this shall we?

The Wall Street Journal had an interesting article in October 2012 (republished from the AP) titled; "FTC Updates Guidelines On Green Marketing" which had a quote from the FTC in it and stated; "The FTC said; 'Very few products, if any' deliver the far-reaching environmental benefits that consumer associate with such claims."

Now then, my first thought on this is that the FTC isn't green either, so I ask; who are they to judge? I mean just consider how all their regulations have forced businesses to fill-out endless forms, disclosures, and legal documents, how many trees are they causing to be chopped down to support all that paper production? What about the rain forests? If no business can "ever qualify" then what does "green" mean?

Even if a business follows all the EPA rules and regulations which are so numerous your head will spin, even after all that investment in "doing it right" the company cannot tell anyone, advertise it, or tell their customers that they follow the rules while other companies may not and carefully suggest that their customers ought to choose them instead.

It's not that I don't believe we should set the bar very high for what is and what is not an environmentally friendly company. I also don't take too kindly to those companies who are polluting our environment to claim they are one with the cypress tree in all regards when it comes to eco-friendly business operations. The reality is that chances are it isn't true. Nevertheless, in each industry there must be two or three companies who are following the rules and going up and beyond to actually create the best management practices which to help the environment.

If we tell these companies we no longer honor all they are doing, and will not let them advertise such in their marketing brochures, or commercials, then why would any business continue to spend big money without any return or benefit from additional customers? That I see is the biggest problem with what the FTC is doing, although I do realize that the FTC has to make big headlines as it starts out the new federal fiscal year, otherwise they cannot justify their existence, I question this latest move. Please consider all this and think on it.

No comments:

Post a Comment