As consumers carry canvas bags to the grocery store and change to energy efficient appliances, cars and even light bulbs, companies must reevaluate their products to make them "environmentally friendly" and face the challenge to be more "green." Yet, what it means to be "environmentally friendly" or "green" is in dispute, and traditional marketing or labeling of products may result in significant potential liability.
Legislation governing the manufacture, sale, and distribution of "green" products changes daily on a local, state and national level. Global requirements to go "green" are even more daunting and complex. At the same time, a surge in litigation has followed this increased focus on issues surrounding "going green."
Insurers, however, have limited experience in providing the appropriate coverage to address these unknown risks, and historical manufacturing, distribution, and construction contracts do not contemplate the allocation of these risks or properly define the limit of certain representations or warranties. These emerging issues raise an interdisciplinary challenge in the fields of Environmental, Product Liability, Construction, and Consumer Protection law.
Our Green Product group has a unique combination of construction, environmental, product liability and consumer protection lawyers. We provide a broad range of experience to counsel our clients managing "green" matters and evaluating the potential risks of "going green." Related experience for trademarking "green" products is also available through our intellectual property professionals, while our climate change and sustainability subgroup manages the ever-changing sustainable building environment. Proactive risk consideration and allocation is essential to maximize your competitive position and to minimize liability.