Environmental Marketing: The New Green Guides

Strategies to Meet Regulatory Standards and Minimizing Greenwashing Liability

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

Conducted on Wednesday, December 12, 2012
Recorded event now available

This CLE webinar will update counsel to companies that market products as having green attributes on the changes to the Green Guides. The panel will offer best practices for complying with the guidance provided by the FTC so as to avoid unfair or deceptive green claims.


On Oct. 1, 2012, the Federal Trade Commission released its long awaited final revisions to its Guides for the Use of Environmental Marketing Claims ("Green Guides"). The revisions include new guidance on general environmental claims and on the use of certificates and seals of approval.

The FTC’s revisions include new guidance on using terms like degradable, ozone-friendly, non-toxic and recyclable. The guides also provide guidance on claims that a product is made with renewable energy or renewable materials.

With changes to the Green Guides finalized, companies and their counsel must examine green marketing programs now, since noncompliance can lead to an investigation for deceptive marketing by the FTC or civil suits from competitors.

Listen as our authoritative panel examines the current legal environment surrounding green marketing, the changes to the Green Guides, and offers best practices to meet the guidance provided by the FTCso as to avoid unfair or deceptive green claims.


  1. Legal environment and current state of the law
    1. Federal
    2. National Advertising Division decisions
    3. States
  2. FTC’s Green Guide
    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


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 revisions to the FTC's Green Guides change the landscape for environmental marketing?
  • What steps can companies take to ensure that green marketing claims comply with the Green Guides and are not false or misleading?

Following the speaker presentations, you'll have an opportunity to get answers to your specific questions during the interactive Q&A.


Brian Fergemann, Partner
Winston Strawn, Chicago

He is a partner in the advertising, marketing, and entertainment law group. He counsels major national consumer product companies and retailers and their advertising and promotion agencies on a wide range of advertising, marketing, social media, e-commerce, and general intellectual property issues. He is a regular speaker on advertising issues at national advertising and marketing law conferences.

Christina Caroll, Partner
McKenna Long Aldridge, Washington, D.C.

Her practice focuses on complex litigation, including insurance coverage, environmental, toxic tort, and federal preemption litigation.  She advises clients about complex exposures, new product development, and compliance issues associated with climate change, greenwashing, green building, hydraulic fracturing, and other risks.  Her book, Climate Change and Insurance, will be published this month.

Bridget Calhoun, Partner
Crowell Moring, Washington, D.C.

She specializes in product risk management issues, consumer protection, and antitrust law.  She represents clients whose advertising and marketing practices are being investigated by the FTC or handles NAD challenges, and regularly advises clients on a full range of consumer protection issues with particular experience in warranties, advertising, labeling and packaging, and regulatory compliance.


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Customer Reviews

I liked the practical nature of the materials and use of examples and case summaries.

Allison Edgar

Parker Poe Adams & Bernstein

The presentations were excellent and timely, and I thought the Q&A was very good.

J. Thomas Carrato

Monsanto Company

The presentations were excellent and timely, and I thought the Q&A was very good.

J. Thomas Carrato

Monsanto Company

I thought the practice points and recommendations from the speakers, based on years of experience, were valuable.

Felise Cooper

Allen & Overy

The case study approach was extremely helpful and interesting on this timely topic.

Van Hilderbrand

Sullivan & Worcester

or call 1-800-926-7926

Environmental Law Advisory Board

John J. Allen


Allen Matkins

Albert M. Cohen


Loeb & Loeb

Aaron Courtney


Stoel Rives

Andrew N. Davis


Shipman & Goodwin

David R. Gillay


Barnes & Thornburg

Brian D. Israel


Arnold & Porter Kaye Scholer

Thomas J. P. McHenry


Gibson Dunn & Crutcher

James B. Slaughter


Beveridge & Diamond

Jeffrey A. Smith

Senior Counsel

Sidley Austin

E. Gail Suchman

Special Counsel

Stroock & Stroock & Lavan

Gregory D. Trimarche

Senior Counsel

Ring Bender

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