Glossary of Terms Frequently Used in Environmental Marketing Claims


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Many terms are used to describe the environmental attributes of various mattress materials and finished products. Some of these are well-recognized and understood, objective terms. Others can be more ambiguous, depending on their context. As a result, confusion and in some cases “greenwashing” can occur from the use and often unintentional misuse of these terms. To help the mattress industry (suppliers, manufacturers and retailers) describe its products more accurately and to assist consumers in better understanding these terms, the Specialty Sleep Association (SSA) has prepared this FREE Glossary. This Glossary provides general information on broadly accepted terminology and definitions related to environmental marketing claims in the mattress industry, with a link to the source for such definitions. On occasion, the Glossary 2 indicates those definitions that have been developed for one purpose and that might have relevance for use in environmental claims regarding mattresses. The Glossary, which also includes sections on Acronyms and Organizations as well as Certifications, Standards and Government References is intended to provide general resources that all participants in the mattress manufacturing and retail supply chain can use to communicate more accurately regarding the environmental attributes of their products and component materials. The Glossary is intended as a general reference tool only, and is not intended to provide legal or other official advice of any kind, and is not intended to set any kind of industry standard or guidelines, voluntary or otherwise, for the marketing of specific mattresses or related products. Readers should refer to the source documents cited within each definition before using a particular term. Drafting accurate and balanced environmental claims for a particular product or material can involve a number of complex and technical considerations. Companies that intend to make claims regarding the environmental performance of specific products or materials should not rely solely on the information set forth in this Glossary, but are encouraged to consult with qualified legal counsel and other experts before doing so to confirm that the proposed claims meet applicable laws, regulations, and other relevant requirments. SSA is not responsible for any erroneous use or misuse of these terms. We recognize that the Glossary may contain errors or omissions, and that new terms will evolve to describe the environmental attributes of mattresses. Readers are encouraged to inform SSA of any errors in the Glossary that require correction, or to provide feedback on other terms that should be added in the Glossary. To submit information for inclusion in updates or future iterations of this report, please send inquiries to SSA at


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