Environmental Marketing: Legal Risks of Claiming to be Green

Strategies to Meet Regulatory Standards and Minimize Greenwashing Liability

FTC proposed revised Green Guides on Oct. 6

Recording of a 90-minute CLE webinar with Q&A


Conducted on Tuesday, November 30, 2010

Recorded event now available

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Program Materials

This CLE webinar will update counsel to companies marketing products as having environmental attributes on the Federal Trade Commission's proposed revisions to its Green Guides. The panel will offer best practices for complying with the standards to avoid unfair or deceptive green claims.

Description

On Oct. 6, 2010, the Federal Trade Commission issued proposed revisions to its Green Guides—the first such updates since 1998. The revisions include tighter regulations on environmental claims made by companies and stricter rules for the use of certificates and seals of approval.

The FTC’s revisions added new regulations on using terms like degradable, ozone-friendly, non-toxic and recyclable. The guides also place restrictions on companies claiming a product is made with renewable energy, including a requirement to disclose where or how it got its renewable energy.

With changes to environmental marketing imminent, companies and their counsel must examine their green marketing programs now.

Listen as our authoritative panel examines the current legal environment surrounding green marketing, the FTC’s proposed revisions to the Green Guides, and offers best practices to meet the regulatory standards and avoid greenwashing claims.

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Outline

  1. Legal environment and current state of the law
    1. Federal
    2. National Advertising Division decisions
    3. States
  2. FTC’s proposed Green Guide revisions
    1. General environmental benefit
    2. Certifications and seals of approval
    3. Claims: degradable, compostable, ozone-friendly, recyclable, non-toxic
    4. Claims: made with renewable materials, made with renewable energy, carbon offsets
  3. Best practices to meet the regulatory standards and avoid greenwashing claims

Benefits

The panel will review these and other key questions:

  • What are the federal and state regulations and existing standards that currently govern green marketing claims?
  • How have the courts treated "greenwashing claims" to date?
  • How do the FTC's proposed revisions change the landscape for environmental marketing?
  • What steps can companies take to ensure that environment-based marketing claims comply with the Green Guides and other standards and are not false or misleading?

Faculty

Brian L. Heidelberger
Brian L. Heidelberger

Partner
Winston & Strawn

He concentrates his practice in advertising, marketing, e-commerce, and entertainment law matters. He litigates...  |  Read More

Christina M. Carroll
Christina M. Carroll

Partner
McKenna Long & Aldridge

She is co-chair of MLA’s firm-wide Climate, Energy, and Sustainability Initiative.  She focuses on...  |  Read More

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