Jacquelyn Ottman is an expert adviser on green marketing to Fortune 500 companies and the U.S. government. The author of four books on the subject, her latest is the just released, The New Rules of Green Marketing: Strategies, Tools, and Inspiration for Sustainable Branding (Berrett-Koehler, February 2011), 252pp. $21.95. Her firm’s website, http://www.greenmarketing.com, contains more information about the book.

Articles by Jacquie

The FTC Green Guides finally get picky about greenwashing

It only took them 20 years (The first Guides were issued in 1992), but then again, as the saying goes, every overnight sensation is twenty years in the making. Maybe the FTC Green Guide staff put in their 10,000 hours, but, at last, they nailed it. The revisions to the Green Guides, published on October 1, 2012, shows that the FTC is finally putting their foot down (both of them) about the term ‘green’, along with such related “generalized environmental claims” as ‘eco-friendly’ and ‘Earth smart’.

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Are We Ready to Move Sustainability Forward?

compass guiding green marketingAs I asserted to hundreds of attendees at the Sustainable Brands ‘11 conference last week, greenwash is not the real problem holding consumers back from getting more involved in sustainability.  Greenwash is merely a symptom of what I believe to be the real problem—an immature industry ‘eco-system’.  The ‘eco-system’ of stakeholders that supports us is not broken—it just hasn’t matured around us. We have marketers who are inadvertently greenwashing because they don’t know better and importantly, green claims are not being enforced by government or retailers.

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The Next Frontier in Green Marketing is Responsible Consumption

Is Tom’s of Maine toothpaste really green if consumers leave the water running while they brush their teeth? Is an ENERGY STAR-rated light bulb really green if it remains on after everyone leaves the room?

Water FaucetIt is one thing to design a product to be greener, but the negative environmental impact made throughout a product’s life-cycle cannot be minimized unless the consumer uses and disposes of it responsibly. Representing the next frontier in green marketing, this is the definition of  responsible consumption or what may also be called, “shared responsibility.”

As I describe in my new book, The New Rules of Green Marketing: Strategies, Tools and Inspiration for Sustainable Branding (Berrett-Koehler, February 2011), sustainability leaders are striving for the ideal goals of zero waste and zero energy, but we will never get to zero —and thoroughly manage life cycle related environmental risks until people learn to responsibly consume and properly dispose of the products they buy.

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  • TSSS EVENT: Sport and Sustainability: A Focus on the 2015 Toronto Pan Am Games (FREE Livestream)

    Pam AM TorontoJoin TSSS on April 1st as our panel explores the power of sport to reach people and communities like nothing else can. Topics to be discussed include: Community Engagement, Sustainable Purchasing, Importance of a Clear Vision, Diversity and Inclusion, Branding and Leaving a Legacy. Learn more
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