It all started with an article about green packaging, where there was a sentence regarding the the Green Guides (US Federal Trade Commission): "65 percent of Americans would prefer just one seal for green products over the hundreds that are now causing confusion. They note that it is increasingly hard to determine if a product is "truly green" or not based on available information. They are presently overwhelmed with the 350 product certifications that currently exist".
In Europe, consumers for sure know about Ecolabel and EnergyStar and…what else? I have made a very quick search on the web about the online resources available to consumers willing to understand a little bit more about "green labels". I did not find anything that is both comprehensive and easy to understand – the best resource being this PDF which is only related to UK. I think that as long as there is so much confusion about labelling, product and process certification, together with a lack of communication, consumers will have a hard time in understanding the real value of sustainable/green products and greenwashing will still be consumers first word associated to sustainability.
I think that it would be of great interest for retail companies too to contribute to a sort of global database of green seals /certifications/labels in order to better communicate with consumers. Would you, as a product manufacturer, contribute?