Date of Graduation


Document Type


Degree Name

Bachelor of Science in Business Administration

Degree Level





Herold, Warren


Over the past 37 years since the term greenwashing was coined, there have been sparse attempts to regulate this deceptive environmental marketing. The Federal Trade Commission (FTC) created its Guides for the Use of Environmental Marketing Claims, also known as the Green Guides, in 1992. The Guides have been revised on three separate occasions – 1996, 1998, and 2012 – in an attempt to remain relevant with the proliferation of environmental marketing claims and trends. However, the Guides were created as interpretive rules that do not give the FTC the authority to enforce the regulations unless they can prove that an environmental claim violated Section 5 of the FTC Act. The lack of authority to enforce the Guides in addition to the outdated revision indicates the need for improvements to make the Green Guides more effective. There are current revisions of the Green Guides in progress, so the FTC should take this opportunity to make the appropriate adjustments. Based on the literature, it was determined that the FTC should transform the Guides into binding, legislative rules and include guidance on new claims such as “organic” and “sustainable.”


greenwashing, Green Guides, environmental marketing, sustainability