Greenwashing: What Your Client Should Know to Avoid Costly Litigation and Consumer Backlash - NR&E | Winter 2011
“Greenwashing” refers to the phenomenon of eco-exaggeration, that is, the practice of many companies who label and advertise their products as ones that are good for the environment when their products have little or no positive environmental benefits. At its heart, greenwashing is the act of misleading consumers regarding the environmental benefits of a product or service in order to entice the consumers to purchase that product or service. Ms. Diffenderfer and Ms. Baker discuss the actions being taken by the federal government, state governments, and consumers to combat those persons and entities that engage in exaggerated marketing of the environmental attributes of products, services, and companies. They catalogue the increase in public enforcement actions and civil lawsuits to combat greenwashing and provide advice for attorneys who wish to help their clients avoid consumer backlash and adverse public relations.