Companies make eco-friendly claims about every seven days till Sunday that their product is eco friendly. I love smelling bovine in the morning; NOT!! So now the Law firm Seyfarth Shaw has formed a coming to getcha team that will smell the bovine for us. Lucky us, they are going to need some nose clips because there are alot of them out there!!
This new firm will counsel businesses on strategies for marketing the environmental benefits of their products, with an eye toward regulatory compliance and avoiding legal pitfalls of “greenwashing” claims.
The firm’s new Green Marketing Compliance team assists clients in complying with Federal Trade Commission Green Guides and other regulations associated with eco-friendly initiatives. The multi-disciplinary team, led by environmental lawyer Eric Boyd in Seyfarth’s Chicago office, includes lawyers from the firm’s intellectual property, product liability and litigation practices.
Seyfarth’s new team advises clients across a whole range of green marketing claims, which can include general “environmentally friendly” claims; eco-seals of approval and certifications; recycled content claims; and ozone-safe, “no CFC” claims. The firm has vetted green marketing materials of manufacturers in multiple industries, including construction, office products and consumer goods.
Heading up the new team is Eric E. Boyd, a partner in the Environmental, Safety & Toxic Torts group in Seyfarth’s Chicago office. The group includes attorneys from the firm’s environmental, intellectual property, product liability, litigation and class action practices that are frequently engaged in environmental compliance and regulation issues.
The group advises retailers, distributors and manufacturers engaged in green marketing practices, as well as those who want to make certain that their competitors and suppliers are fulfilling their own green marketing claims. Seyfarth attorneys review clients’ green marketing campaigns to ensure compliance with governing statutes and agency rules, such as the Federal Trade Commission’s “Guides for the Use of Environmental Marketing Claims,” commonly known as the “Green Guides.”
“Environmental consciousness is a vital component to the perception of a company or its brand, and so is compliance with the growing regulatory framework of laws applied to green initiatives,” said Boyd. “Members of our team have a proven track record of helping businesses across multiple industries to properly develop their green marketing campaigns.”
Other Seyfarth partners involved in the green marketing group include Philip L. Comella, Jay W. Connolly, Bart A. Lazar, Ronan P. O’Brien, Andrew H. Perellis, and Kevin A. Woolf.
As businesses of all kinds actively promote their products’ sustainability and green virtues, they face growing scrutiny from regulators and consumer groups challenging their credibility. Seyfarth’s team advises clients across a whole range of green marketing claims, which can include:
- General “environmentally friendly” claims
- Eco-seals of approval and certifications
- Degradable, biodegradable or photodegradable claims
- Compostable claims
- Recyclable claims
- Please recycle claims
- Private recycling programs
- Recycled content claims
- Recycle symbols
- Source reduction claims
- Refillable claims
- Ozone safe, ozone friendly and no CFC claims
“One of the principle objectives of our new team is to assist clients in avoiding legal pitfalls associated with claims of greenwashing,” said Comella, who also heads Seyfarth’s Environmental, Safety and Toxic Torts Group in the Chicago office. “Such pitfalls are ever-present with respect to a variety of different market claims.”
Seyfarth Shaw has previously handled numerous matters in green marketing compliance. The firm has vetted green marketing materials of manufacturers in multiple industries, including construction, office products and consumer goods. Team members have also assisted a company in developing a “supplemental environmental project” involving sustainability in order to offset the penalties necessary to resolve an enforcement action.
Seyfarth attorneys have also reviewed use of trademarks and logos to ensure compliance, as well as evaluated proposed revisions to the FTC’s Green Guides. These include the Guides’ provisions related to renewable energy, carbon offsets, renewable energy certificates, carbon neutrality, carbon footprint, sustainability, life cycle assessments, seals, logos, third-party certifications and source reduction claims.