Greenpeace and ForestEthics file false advertising complaint against SFI greenwashing

by Daniel Brindis

June 6, 2013

[caption id="" align="aligncenter" width="593"] Jim Ace of ForestEthics drops off our complaint at FTC branch in Seattle, along with 2800 signatures in support. Photo Credit: ForestEthics[/caption]

Last week we joined ForestEthics and Washington Forest Law Center in submitting a false advertising complaint to the United States Federal Trade Commission (FTC). For years SFI, the timber-industry born wood and paper certification scheme has served as a tool to greenwash disastrous logging practices. See Greenpeaces 2011 investigation for more. New York Times and Los Angeles Times followed the story, read the actual complaint here.

Green labels have proliferated in recent years, causing confusion in store shelves for consumers who may not be up to date on how each label was developed and whether or not the labels standards are actually being enforced. last October, the FTC published the Green Guides, new guidance on green advertising, including what constitutes an actual independent environmental certification. We dont think this fits the bill and we hope the government agrees. Greenwash labels dont just stall environmental progress- they also hurt businesses who are serious about the environment and deserve to distinguish themselves as leaders on the store shelf.

Daniel Brindis

By Daniel Brindis

Daniel is a Senior Forests Campaigner based in San Francisco. His portfolio includes the Amazon, the Canadian Boreal, and environmental certification schemes like the Forest Stewardship Council.

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