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Green Isn't Just a Color: Navigating the Green Marketing Legal Landscape
Environmental certification seals and claims like 'biodegradable' and 'zero VOCs' make for great marketing, but are they defensible? The public's growing environmental consciousness and its demand for 'green' products is changing the marketing landscape. Product stewards need to exercise caution to ensure that their 'green marketing' complies with the various laws, regulations, guidance, and voluntary standards in the United States. For example, the Federal Trade Commission (FTC)'s Green Guides govern national environmental marketing claims. They identify how consumers are likely to interpret claims, stipulate how marketers can substantiate claims, and make recommendations for how marketers can qualify their claims to avoid deceiving consumers. The FTC aggressively enforces the Green Guides. In 2015, the FTC sent warning letters to 5 providers of environmental certification seals and 28 businesses using those seals, alerting them that the seals may be deceptive and may not comply with the FTC's Green Guides. We will provide an overview of the Green Guides, a report on FTC enforcement action and other green marketing litigation, and a discussion of technical considerations when substantiating green claims.

Presenter(s): Christy Rose, Managing Consultant, Ramboll
Irene Hantman, Verdant Law
Phil Moffat, Verdant Law
Brianna Scherffius, Managing Consultant, Ramboll
Presentation Date: 9/10/2019
Contact Hours: 1.0

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