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Posts Tagged ‘Green Guides’

Should Green Marketing Companies Have a Higher Bar to Pass for Credibility?

June 5th, 2014 No comments

Raising the Bar for Green Marketing Claims

green marketers

 

 

Austin, Texas: As green marketers, we make lots of claims:

  • Organic
  • Environmentally-Friendly
  • Recyclable
  • Made from Recycled Materials

However, too many of these claims are unsubstantiated or vague, at best — and not up to the Green Guides standards.

I think that when making claims about product safety, health, and yes–environmental stewardship, we should always err on the side of full disclosure.

At Eco Marketing Solutions, we sell green promotional products: imprinted items that are made of recycled materials or from organic materials.

With over 400,000 products in our line, we have a team of people dedicated to updating every item in our online catalog for accuracy and disclosure.

We are not there yet, but we are working on it every single day.

It is a time-consuming (and expensive) task, but when finished, our customers will know if a product is made form post-consumer waste, what percentage of the product is made from recycled materials, etc.

Are you spending your time clarifying green facts and figures – or are you intentionally keeping things blurry?

Customers appreciate honesty–even if it is not entirely what they were hoping for.

There is too much pseudo information out there –which only make sour jobs as green marketers harder.

Casting a shadow of doubt on your product only makes your company seem less than honest.

Green marketers should be held accountable to a higher standard–as we are all in this together.

Here’s to a greener tomorrow, today!

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Robert Piller, President of Eco Marketing Solutions, has over 33 years of experience in running and implementing promotional marketing campaigns and is a leader in the recycled promotional products industry, including offering one of the largest selections of organic promotional products,   imprinted bamboo promotional items, imprinted live tree seedlings and plant giftsseeded paper promotional items and  recycled imprinted pens and pencils in the country.

In addition to being a noted writer on issues of social and safety compliance, Robert Piller has recently completed his CAS degree and BASI degree — one of the highest honors in the promotional products industry for his years of continuous education and certification.

His company’s website, EcoMarketingSolutions.com, features over 250,000 eco-friendly promotional items in all price ranges, for any business or organization interested in going green and promoting environmental stewardship. The site’s handy search tool helps you easily find organic and recycled imprinted promotional items in your price range and time frame.

Eco Marketing Solutions has a strong Code of Conduct as they carefully vet and qualify all their suppliers.

You can also reach him by email (robert (at) ecomarketingsolutions.com) or comment on his blog postings at GreenSpotBlog.com or below at his Twitter link.

Facebook.com/ecomarketingsolutionsAsk us Your Green Marketing Questions Anytime at  Facebook.com/ecomarketingsolutions and join the conversation.

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The Value of Your Green Marketing Claims is Transparency

February 4th, 2013 No comments
Are Your Green Claims Valid?

How Transparent Are Your Green Marketing Claims?

How Transparent Are Your Green Marketing Claims?

Austin, Texas: I just came back from a week long trade show and was disappointed in the number of green claims being made by manufacturers and potential vendors.

After I reminded them of the new Green Guides, many of them either laughed it off, ignored it, or mumbled some sort of remark like, “that doesn’t hold for us”, or “that’s only for California” or some other asinine and smarmy comments.

There were some heated conversations when I refused to back down and told them to read up on the rules — before claiming that the products they want me to sell are “biodegradable” – when they do not conform to those old rules any longer.

Yes, the new Green Guides hold just as true in Texas  or Montana as it does for California and every other state.

A green business needs to be transparent in their claims.

All of their claims. Not just the ones that are convenient.

Explain how your product or service helps the environment, or reduces energy consumption or is made of a high percentage of recycled material — then back those claims up.

If you can’t back them up, state that too.

People will give you credit for working toward getting greener than to make unsubstantiated claims.

I will be spending much of this year reviewing the claims from my factories – and eliminating many of my suppliers – as well as re-writing and re-evaluating their claims.

I would suggest that you do the same to your own product line.

Here’s to a greener tomorrow, today!

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Robert Piller, President of Eco Marketing Solutions, has over 28 years of experience in running and implementing green marketing campaigns and is a leader in the recycled promotional products industry, including offering one of the largest selections of recycled and reusable water bottles and imprinted coffee mugs, reusable and organic tote bags, recycled pens and pencils in the country. In addition to being a noted writer on issues of social and safety compliance, Robert Piller recently completed his CAS degree — one of the highest honors in the promotional products industry for his years of continuous education and certification. His company’s website, EcoMarketingSolutions.com, features over 25,000 eco-friendly promotional items in all price ranges, for any business or organization interested in going green. The site’s handy search tool helps you easily find biodegradable, organic and recycled imprinted promotional items in your price range and time frame.

You can also reach him by email (robert (at) ecomarketingsolutions.com) or comment on his blog postings at GreenSpotBlog.com or below at his Twitter link.

Facebook.com/ecomarketingsolutionsAsk us Your Green Marketing Questions Anytime at  Facebook.com/ecomarketingsolutions and join the conversation.

 


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The Green Guides Are Coming: What to Do?

August 3rd, 2011 No comments

The Green Guides Will define green marketing terminologyAustin, Texas: Marketers and the media are anxiously anticipating the release of the new FTC Green Guides, which will list the new rules for use of green marketing advertising–a sort of truth in advertising campaign.

Although the dates keep getting pushed back, when it is announced, the Green Guides will shift the landscape of green marketing–in the hopes of preventing greenwashing.

There is a great deal of news that terms such as green, carbon neutral, renewable energy and others will be re-defined… but nobody knows the final rulings.

What should a green marketer do?

Tell the Truth. The Whole Truth. And Nothing but the Truth.

Yes.  It’s that simple.

If you make a claim, back it up.

If you say an item is biodegradable, explain how your company defines this term. How long it takes to break down and in what environment.

If you say something is “green”, describe how it is green. Does it save resources in manufacturing or during usage?

If you say an item is made of recycled materials, tell the percentage and the material used.

Spell it out.

If you define the item and explain it, then your customer can compare it to other products and make an informed decision.

Do we like the government telling us what to say, how to say it, etc? Absolutely not.  But these guidelines are to be created because too many companies abused the lack of definitive definitions.

Promoting your green product or service is not hard.

Explain. Educate. Define.

State your benefits clearly and concisely.

Don’t leave any grey space.

Anticipate the questions and concerns your clients may have, and answer them.

That is all the public needs and wants.

Happy Promoting!
Ask Us Your Green Marketing Questions Anytime at  Facebook.com/ecomarketingsolutions and join the conversation.
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Robert Piller, President of Eco Marketing Solutions, has over 25 years of experience in running and implementing green marketing campaigns and is a leader in the recycled promotional products industry, including offering one of the largest selections of reusable and organic tote bags, recycled and biodegradable water bottles, recycled pens and pencils in the country.

His company’s website, EcoMarketingSolutions.com, features over 25,000 eco-friendly promotional items in all price ranges, for any business or organization interested in going green. The site’s handy search tool helps you easily find biodegradable, organic and recycled imprinted promotional items in your price range and time frame.

You can also reach him by email (robert (at) ecomarketingsolutions.com) or comment on his blog postings at GreenSpotBlog.com or below at his Twitter link.

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New FTC Green Guidelines and How They Might Impact Your Earth Day Marketing Plans

March 21st, 2011 No comments

changes to FTC Green Guidelines for Earth DayFor those organizations and businesses that are planning Earth Day celebrations this April, it might be time to familiarize yourself with some of the Federal Trade Commission’s proposed revisions to its Green Guides.

Though these Guidelines are not the Law, and will probably see many rounds of changes, here are some of the key revisions the the 1998 Green Guides, according to the Better Business Bureau.

  • Marketers should not make unqualified general environmental benefit claims such as “green” or “eco-friendly”.  According to the Guides, these claims are difficult, if not impossible, to substantiate.
  • Seals and Certifications are considered “endorsements.”  This means that marketers may need to disclose any material connections with the certifier.  Third-party certification does not eliminate a marketer’s obligation to have substantiation for its claims.
  • An unqualified claim that a product or package is biodegradable means that it will completely decompose is no more than one year after customary disposal.  Marketers should not make unqualified degradable claims for items destined for landfills.
  • The Guides address claims of recyclability and introduce a three-tiered analysis for disclosing the limited availability of recycling programs.
  • Marketers making “renewable energy” claims should specify the source of the renewable energy.  If a company sells Renewable Energy Certificates (RECs) for the renewable energy they generate, should not represent that they use renewable energy.
  • Marketers making “carbon offset” claims should disclose if the offset purchase funds emission reductions that will not occur for two years or longer.

Best advice, deal with reputable organizations and ones that can provide Third Party Certification to back up its claims.

For more information, visit the BBB website or FTC Green Guides website.

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Robert Piller, experienced in green marketing campaigns and recycled promotional products. His web site includes a comprehensive advertising specialty search, featuring over 250,000 eco promotional items in all price ranges, for any business or organization interested in going green.  The site’s handy search tool helps you easily find recyclable, biodegradable, organic or recycled imprinted promotional items in your price range and time frame. View the Go Green website at EcoMarketingSolutions.com and comment on his blog postings at GreenSpotBlog.com.

FTC has Announced New Green Rules Against Broad Eco Statements

October 11th, 2010 No comments

FTC Announces new Green GuidelinesThe FTC has made some of their proposed revisions to the Federal Trade Commission’s Green Guides, which are a set of guidelines aimed at clearing up confusion since its last update in 1998.

These are preliminary guidelines, as the FTC is still seeking public comment on the updated guidelines for 60 days, before issuing a final version, which will not be announced until late 2011, at the earliest.

“The Green Guides were designed to help businesses avoid making misleading environmental claims,” FTC Chairman Jon Leibowitz said Wednesday during a conference call with reporters. “That, of course, helps consumers.”

Leibowitz described an “explosion” of green claims being made for a variety of goods, ranging from paper towels to textiles, leaving consumers confused about what they’re buying. “We’re not always getting what we think we’re getting,” he said.

At the same, businesses are also unclear about the environmental attributes of their products, so clear cut rules will help all parties. These new guidelines were supposed to be ready by 2009, but, like every other government project, things seem to take much longer than anticipated.

The FTC is looking mostly to have companies able to substantiate their environmental claims, and to use more narrowly-focused terms rather than “eco-friendly” or “green”, to avoid confusion.
I am sure the final guidelines will be watered down, unfortunately, as “interest” groups on all sides weigh in.

However, best business practices are to always be able to substantiate claims a company makes, be it in terms of sustainability, biodegradation, energy efficiency and any other factors. Common sense will prevail in the end.

Let’s make every day, Earth Day!
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Robert Piller, experienced in green marketing campaigns and recycled promotional products. His web site includes a comprehensive advertising specialty search, featuring over 250,000 eco promotional items in all price ranges, for any business or organization interested in going green. The site’s handy search tool helps you easily find recyclable, biodegradable, organic or recycled imprinted promotional items in your price range and time frame. View the Go Green website at EcoMarketingSolutions.com and comment on his blog postings at GreenSpotBlog.com.