Private Governance of Green Claims in the Marketplace: The Role of NAD and Advertising Self-Regulation

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Private environmental governance encompasses a broad range of private actors creating systems and mechanisms for promoting various environmental or “green” attributes. Increasingly, companies are conducting life-cycle analyses, evaluating supply chains, partnering with nongovernmental organizations (NGOs), developing environmental standards, and utilizing certification schemes designed to ensure third parties and consumers that certain criteria for reducing environmental impact have been met. What is the driving force behind these efforts? A key factor is consumer demand. But although consumers say they want green products and services, the marketing of green products is often unclear and unreliable.

This article addresses the importance of ensuring that green marketing is truthful and properly substantiated, and the role of the National Advertising Division (NAD) in self-regulation within the advertising industry.

Originally published in Environmental Law Institute on February 3, 2014.

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