Seyfarth Shaw Launches Green Marketing Compliance Team

New group counsels businesses on best strategies for marketing the environmental and health benefits of their products while avoiding legal pitfalls of 'greenwashing' claims

Mar 09, 2011, 16:13 ET from Seyfarth Shaw LLP

CHICAGO, March 9, 2011 /PRNewswire/ -- In response to the increasing need for manufacturers and retailers to market the "green" attributes of their products and services effectively and legally, Seyfarth Shaw LLP has launched a multi-disciplinary Green Marketing Compliance team to help clients comply with regulations associated with green and other eco-friendly initiatives.

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.

For more information on Seyfarth's Green Marketing Compliance team, please visit the team's Web page to find relevant news, resources and thought leadership:

Seyfarth Shaw has over 750 attorneys located in 10 offices throughout the United States, including: Atlanta, Boston, Chicago, Houston, Los Angeles, New York, Sacramento, San Francisco, and Washington D.C., as well as internationally in London. Seyfarth Shaw provides a broad range of legal services in the areas of labor and employment, employee benefits, litigation, corporate, and real estate. The firm's practice reflects virtually every industry and segment of the country's business and social fabric. Clients include over 300 of the Fortune 500 companies, financial institutions, newspapers and other media, hotels, health care organizations, airlines and railroads. The firm also represents a number of federal, state and local governmental and educational entities. For more information, please visit





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