The US has now come on board with most other guidelines in
requiring you to consider whether an improvement you've made on
one environmental front (e.g., reducing the amount of
petroleum-based plastic you use) has worsened other environmental
impacts your product has. Let's not paraphrase this important
wording, which is: "If a qualified general claim conveys
that a product is more environmentally beneficial overall because
of the particular touted benefit(s), marketers should analyze
trade-offs resulting from the benefit(s) to determine if they can
substantiate this claim." (US Guide, §260.4(c);
emphasis is ours.)
Canada's Guide provides, among other related principles,
that, "It is not permissible to shift the environmental
burden from one stage of a product's life to another and then
make a claim concerning the improved stage without considering
whether there is, in fact, a net overall environmental
benefit." (Emphasis is ours.) It also incorporates the
ISO 14021 provision saying that claims must not only be true for
the finished product, but must also consider all relevant aspects
of the life cycle, "to identify the potential for one
impact to be increased in the process of decreasing
Trade-offs...shifts of environmental burden...increasing one
impact while decreasing another – what they are asking is
whether the change you're touting really yields a net
environmental benefit or whether your product is now LESS
And by the way, your general claim may still be sunk if
misleading in the larger picture
In most places, even if the specific change you've made
hasn't resulted in any particular environmental downsides
itself, you could still get into trouble saying,
"Eco-friendly: 30% less plastic". When? Say the
materials you use – and have always used – are sourced
from incredibly polluting plants and shipped from overseas when
everyone else sources them locally, you pillage local water
supplies that are scarce, and commit all sorts of other
environmental sins. In that scenario, do you think that giving a
specific attribute (30% less plastic) to explain your general
"ecofriendly" claim will save your general claim from
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It is relatively common knowledge that the government has a "duty to consult" aboriginal groups when undertaking actions or making decisions that could adversely affect aboriginal rights, aboriginal title and treaty rights.
On April 5, 2017, Environment and Climate Change Canada released the report of an external Expert Panel that was established in August 2016 to review the scope and process of federal environmental assessments under the Canadian Environmental Assessment Act, 2012.
40 to 60 years may be too old when determining whether to extend a limitation period for a negligence-based environmental contamination claim, the court recently ruled in Brookfield Residential (Alberta) LP (Carma Developers LP) v Imperial Oil Limited, 2017 ABQB 218 [Brookfield].
Our April 7 post on the report of the Expert Panel reviewing federal environmental assessment processes noted that the report contains recommendations for greater inclusion of Indigenous peoples in federal environmental assessment processes.
Over the past week, the Project Law Blog has been discussing the recommendations set out by the Expert Panel in its report entitled Building Common Ground – A New Vision for Impact Assessment in Canada, The Final Report of the Expert Panel for the Review of Environmental Assessment Processes.
On April 5, 2017 the Federal Minister of Environment and Climate Change received her report from an expert panel of four, comprised of three lawyers with significant environmental and aboriginal law experience as well as a retired senior executive of a resource company.
On April 5, 2017, an Expert Panel established by the Minister of Environment and Climate Change (the "Panel") released its report, Building Common Ground – A New Vision for Impact Assessment in Canada, The Final Report of the Expert Panel for the Review of Environmental Assessment Processes (the "Report").
Last week we summarized the recommendations set out by the Expert Panel established by the Minister of Environment and Climate Change in its report entitled Building Common Ground – A New Vision for Impact Assessment in Canada, The Final Report of the Expert Panel for the Review of Environmental Assessment Processes.
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