Wal-Mart urges Federal Trade Commission not to define ‘carbon offsets’
In comments to the Federal Trade Commission earlier this year, Wal-Mart asked the agency not to define the terms “carbon offsets” or “renewable energy certificates” in order to keep the terms flexible and to retain their “less tangible nature.” The Federal Trade Commission has been in the process of updating its green-marketing guidelines and asked Wal-Mart and others to weigh in. Consumer advocates like Consumers Union have been advocating for clear, specific definitions to avoid misleading green claims. “Claims are already being made on products that are confusing, misleading, and potentially deceptive,” the group said in its comments to the FTC. Among many other green goals that Wal-Mart’s announced over the last few years, the FTC’s definition of carbon offsets could most affect the retailer’s ultra-ambitious goal to someday run on 100 percent renewable energy — a huge amount of which would likely have to come from offsets or renewable-energy certificates.