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Energy Efficiency and Climate

Products of all types are becoming an important focal point of the global effort to address the challenge posed by climate change. Governments and other entities in the United States and abroad are enacting a multitude of laws, regulations, standards, and guidance.  Some of them address energy efficiency while others concern the carbon footprint of products. Such developments present opportunities, but they also create the risk of noncompliance and reputational harm.

Energy efficiency standards will continue to affect market access and conditions for the foreseeable future.  In the United States, the U.S. Department of Energy and states like California have enacted energy efficiency standards for commercial and consumer products. Other countries and regions, such as the European Union, are contemplating or have enacted more stringent efficiency standards.

Consensus standards for carbon “footprinting” may eventually influence regulations and industry practices.  Many international organizations are currently developing voluntary standards for evaluating and reporting the carbon footprint of products and services.  The International Standardization Organization (ISO), and The World Resources Institute and World Business Council for Sustainable Development, are nearing completion of their separate standards. 

Additionally, governments and third-parties are operating certification and self-verification programs for companies wanting to distinguish their products in the marketplace.  The Carbon Trust is working in Australia, the U.S., China and elsewhere to broaden use of its “Carbon Reduction Label.”  And private as well as government “green” procurement programs are mandating compliance with energy efficiency standards such as EnergyStar. 

Companies need competent legal counsel to help them understand the challenges and opportunities resulting from these developments.  Verdant can utilize its expertise in product regulation to assist clients by:

  • Interpreting existing regulations and standards.
  • Challenging new regulatory proposals, when appropriate.
  • Supporting internal compliance audits.
  • Seeking new or modified regulations or policies.
  • Participating in voluntary standards development efforts.
  • Pursuing third-party or governmental certifications, or self-verifications.
  • Defending against enforcement actions.

For more information on the Firm’s capabilities, please send an e-mail to climate@verdantlaw.com, or call +1.202.828.1233.