Sheila Millar, Chair of the Marketing and Advertising Commission’s Working Group on Sustainability, responsible for the framework, made the presentation via a video conference and explained how the framework can serve business and policymakers in encouraging more responsible marketing of products’ environmental benefits.
The two-day UNEP event was held on 16 February in Bangkok, Thailand, and was organized in collaboration with the Federal Ministry of Environment, Natural Conservation and Nuclear Safety of Germany and Thai Environment Institute.
It provided an excellent opportunity to promote the Marketing Commission’s efforts to improve the transparency and honesty of sustainability claims in marketing and advertising campaigns. The framework, most recently updated in 2011, establishes guidelines and a checklist to ensure that environmental benefit claims are well-substantiated and clear.
“The framework sets out to remove obstacles that stand in the way of effective communication between consumers and marketers when it comes to environmental attributes of the products they buy,” said Sheila Millar, Partner at the Washington DC-based firm of Keller & Heckman. “The modern consumer cares a great deal about how the products they buy affect the environment. They also care about the environmental footprint of the companies they buy from –their CO2 emissions, the sustainability of their products and their commitment to social responsibility.
“It is important, therefore, that businesses come together and adopt a tool, like the ICC Environmental Framework, that offers a common credible environmental claims system to level the communication playing field,” she said.
“ICC supports the freedom to make truthful claims about environmental attributes of any product, as this will foster innovation and competition,” added Ms Millar. “The ability of businesses to provide reliable environmental information can improve quality along the entire environmental chain – from production to packaging of goods – and can help accelerate environmental progress by giving purchasers the information they need to make informed product choices.”
ICC’s Framework for Responsible Environmental Marketing Communications is a companion to the Consolidated ICC Code of Advertising and Marketing Communications, which sets out general principles governing all marketing communications. Following the successful launch of the ICC Consolidated Code of Advertising and Marketing Communication Practice in September last year, the interest in and development of the ICC’s Environmental Framework marks an exciting step forward in improving ethical and effective marketing communication.