Adopt Best Practices in Green Marketing Regulations to Avoid Legal Traps


Author: Bravin

There is a heightened environmental awareness among consumers today and They are now looking for sustainable and eco-friendly products and services.

Businesses are aware of these developments in the Indian consumer market and are eager to take advantage by advertising and promoting the “green” nature of their products and services. However, is your product or service really as net-zero, carbon-neutral, or sustainable as you claim? False, misleading, or unsubstantiated environmental advertising is considered ‘greenwashing’ and can lead to lawsuits and reputational damage.

So, how do you avoid legal traps in green digital marketing? Here are some of the best practices to understand and follow green marketing laws and regulations

What does the law say about green marketing regulations

To avoid legal traps in green marketing, you must start by understanding the laws and regulations that regulate environmental claims. The Advertising Standards Council of India (ASCI) has taken significant measures to ensure honesty and truthfulness in green digital advertising.

The latest ASCI code for self-regulation of advertising content, updated in June 2022, emphasizes the need for accurate representation in green digital advertisements, offering a robust framework to combat any misleading greenwashing claims.

This year, the ASCI has introduced the ‘Guidelines for Advertisements Making Environmental/Green Claims’, which took effect in February 2024. These guidelines are designed to help consumers make informed decisions, while they assist advertisers and business owners craft evidence-based, and easily understandable environmental claims about their products or services.

Although the ASCI operates as a self-regulatory body, the Central Consumer Protection Authority (CCPA), has recognized the importance of ASCI guidelines on green marketing claims.

How to avoid legal issues in green marketing

green marketing regulations

Now let’s help you leverage the legal aspects of green marketing without getting on the wrong side of the law:

Transparent communication

Transparency in communication not only builds trust with your customers, but also helps you avoid legal traps in green marketing. Therefore, as a marketer or business owner, you must accurately communicate your environmental efforts, practices, and initiatives without making false claims. Use clear and specific language and avoid vague statements.

Acknowledge any limitations you might have in your green initiatives. Being true about what your business is doing to be green, and where there is room for improvement, fosters credibility and trust while keeping you out of legal traps.

Quantify your “green” claims with qualified data

It’s easy to say your product is 100% plastic-free, carbon neutral or sustainable in your marketing campaigns, but can you really prove these claims? Remember, these are strong claims that may affect consumer purchasing decisions. So it is better go by the thumb rule of green claims – quantify your data with qualified data.

You need to publish accurate data and proper evidence to support your green claims:

  • Product lifecycle analysis
  • Environmental impact assessments
  • Emissions reduction data

For instance, if claiming a product is ‘biodegradable’, provide evidence showing the time frame and conditions under which your product will biodegrade. It is difficult to challenge green data-driven claims made in your green marketing campaigns.

Verify and certify

Third-party certifications from reputed organizations can add credibility to your green claims. These certifications offer an independent validation of your environmental claims, making them more trustworthy to consumers.

For instance, eco-conscious consumers are likely to trust products with Fair Trade, ENERGY STAR, USDA, and other sustainability certifications.

Perform audits and reviews

Regular audits and reviews are essential to ensure your green digital marketing continuously complies with the ever-changing regulations. You must establish a system of periodic reviews of your marketing materials and strategies to ensure ongoing compliance with the latest laws and regulations. This includes updating claims when new evidence becomes available and removing outdated or unsupported claims.

Seek legal consultation

When it comes to green marketing regulations, it is better to have a legal expert to guide you on changing legal aspects. Therefore, find a lawyer specializing in environmental marketing to help you ensure that your campaigns comply with relevant regulations and standards.

Why stick to green marketing?

You might be wondering, if green digital marketing has such risks, why bother? As a business owner, you must understand that businesses need to take risks to succeed. Here are some of the reasons green marketing is becoming common:

  • Consumer demand for sustainability: Today, consumers are more concerned about environmental issues than ever before. In India, for example, about 25% of consumers prefer sustainable products and approximately 30% are considered health-conscious. Therefore, consumers are now supporting brands that demonstrate a commitment to sustainability.
  • Regulatory and compliance pressures: Governments are implementing stringent regulations on environmental impact, pushing businesses to adopt greener practices. Going forward, it will not be a matter of choice but a mandatory requirement for businesses to embrace green marketing regulations.
  • Competitive advantage: Many businesses are still stuck with traditional, unsustainable marketing tactics. Therefore, your best bet is to beat them by using green marketing to attract eco-conscious consumers. By demonstrating a genuine commitment to sustainability, your business can ensure stronger brand loyalty.
  • Cost savings and efficiency: Green digital marketing can help your business cut operational costs. For instance, sustainable marketing often involves digital marketing with reduced energy consumption and waste which may help you minimize costs. So green marketing is more resource-efficient as compared to traditional marketing methods, minimizing the overall carbon footprint.

Ready to leverage green marketing regulations?

Green digital marketing aligns with consumer values, long-term business interests, and regulatory requirements. It can help you build a positive brand image, foster innovation, achieve cost savings, and attract both customers and talent who value sustainability.

However, don’t be scared about the legal aspects of green marketing. You can avoid these legal traps by being transparent in your communication, offering substantiated claims, and seeking third-party certifications, among other strategies. If in doubt, always seek expert legal advice from a qualified attorney.


Please enter your comment!
Please enter your name here