May 28th, 2008
Carbon Labels and Carbon Credits: Coming Soon?
In my last blog I talked about the Federal Trade Commission’s (FTC) guidelines for companies concerning green marketing claims—the fact that companies can’t just throw around words like recyclability, etc.–these claims must be backed up. Since then, I’ve noticed a few different references to these guidelines proving that the FTC is definitely watching.
Click here to view a video from CBS news regarding this topic.
As all of you know, green marketing is a hot topic in all industries. This became even more clear to me this week, as I am serving as a judge in the American Society of Business Publication Editors’ annual awards. For the second year, I’m judging the category of Editors Letter. Whether it’s a magazine about trucking or food, editors everywhere are tackling environmental issues.
When reading an entry from John Lypen, the editor of Motor magazine, a magazine targeted to owners of independent automotive repair shops and their technician/employees, he spoke about the FTC as well. He gave the example of dozens of products that attempted to reduce fuel consumption. However, when the FTC conducted extensive testing on these products, the vast majority were proven ineffective, and some even showed potential for damaging the vehicle. Again, this proves that you have to be diligent when making environmental claims and be sure that you can back them up.
He also wrote about the concept of a carbon footprint, something talked about frequently in the pages of our magazine, Door and Window Manufacturer (DWM). He also talked about the fact that the British government was contemplating the issuance of tradeable carbon allowances in which the government would give citizens a limit, and if they used all those allowances, they could trade credits with someone else.
This is just another reminder of how far behind we are other countries in terms of taking a hard look at environmental issues. Could you imagine that happening in the United States? I can’t imagine it happening anytime soon. Heck, you have millions of Americans that don’t even do basic things like recycle.
Finally, in my last applaud of Lypen’s column, he gave the example of Walker Chips, a division of Pepsico International in England that last year became the first company to print a carbon label on its products. This very issue was discussed by Truseal’s Ric Jackson in the May issue of DWM magazine in his “Eye on Energy” column. Jackson didn’t specifically mention a carbon label but said that consumers will start asking about how much energy was used to create a particular window—the concept of embodied energy.
So we have an NFRC label, an Energy Star® label, could a carbon label be next? What do you think? E-mail me at firstname.lastname@example.org