Better information leads to better decisions – this is the idea behind the regulatory device known as “mandated disclosure.” Mandated disclosures are all around you – from calorie counts on fast food restaurant menus to conversations with doctors around informed consent. But the biggest experiment yet in mandated disclosure is the U.S. Securities and Exchange Commission (“SEC”)’s proposal to extend these ideas to climate impacts facing U.S.-listed companies and require uniform climate disclosures.

The SEC’s proposed disclosure rules, which the regulator released in late March, would require publicly traded companies to release information to investors about their emissions and how they are managing risks related to climate change and future climate regulations. Largely in response to investors clamoring for more information about climate risks, as well as pressure from green groups that believe disclosure will drive climate-conscious investing, SEC Chair Gary Gensler announced in 2021 that the commission would use its statutory authority to require climate-related disclosures.

While it is easy to spot risks facing companies like ExxonMobil, which produces and sells fossil fuels that contribute to global warming, more hidden vulnerabilities exist for businesses across the U.S. economy. Here is what you need to know about climate disclosures and some of the challenges the SEC faces in adopting them. 

What investors want to know

Investor pressure for better information about climate impacts comes from two directions. First, some investors want to avoid companies that will be most affected by climate change. A company’s products may be regulated in the future because of their impact on the climate, for instance, or its supply chains may get more expensive over time. Investors want to know which businesses will be able to adapt and preserve profitability. 

Second, many investors are interested in ESG investing, which involves assessing companies’ commitments to environmental, social and governance factors. Today, ESG investing accounts for $17.1 trillion – or 1 in 3 dollars – of the total U.S. assets under professional management. The challenge for the SEC is to ensure that claims being made about the sustainability of a company are based on reality

The trend toward ESG investment has led to an outpouring of voluntary disclosure: About 90 percent of companies in the S&P 500 voluntarily publish reports disclosing statistics on things like carbon emissions and how much renewable energy they use. Meanwhile, some large investors – and certain governments – require disclosure. For example, BlackRock, a multinational asset manager with around $10 trillion under its control, requires companies it invests in to disclose certain climate information. The United Kingdom plans to implement rules requiring climate disclosures starting in April 2022, and the European Union has reporting rules in place. 

But the U.S. has been slow to impose mandatory climate disclosure requirements. Public companies have only been subject to a more general legal standard that they not materially mislead investors. The SEC released guidance in 2010 to encourage climate disclosures, but it has not been enforced and has failed to prompt standardized disclosures.

Rule benders & the effectiveness of climate disclosure

Research on the broader use of mandated disclosure, such as for home mortgage lending and consumer product labeling, shows that crafting effective disclosure regulations is difficult. One reason is that the companies can easily evade disclosing useful information while still complying with the letter of the law, and these “rule benders” can be very creative. Consider the restaurant in New York City that was subject to a health inspection grading regulation and managed to disguise its “B” rating by simply adding “EST” to its display of its grade. Disclosure regulations can also fail when they don’t effectively communicate valuable information. 

study of one type of climate disclosure – emissions labels on consumer products – found mixed evidence as to whether consumers altered their behavior in response. Rule benders can exploit human tendencies to discount or filter out warnings by providing an avalanche of unnecessary information that confuses and overwhelms the intended recipient. 

Expect court challenges

One challenge the SEC has grappled with is whether it has statutory authority to require companies to disclose their “Scope 3” emissions – or emissions that a company does not directly control, such as emissions from the use of its products or emissions that come by way of its supply chain. A company like Amazon, for example, may have extensive upstream Scope 3 emissions in its suppliers’ transportation networks. General Motors would have extensive downstream emissions when people drive its gas-powered vehicles.

The SEC’s three Democratic commissioners, who make up a majority of the commission, have reportedly split on whether certain Scope 3 emissions can be viewed as “material” to investors and therefore subject to disclosure. “Material” is defined as information that a reasonable person would consider important in making an investment decision. 

Some critics of climate disclosures, including several Republican state attorneys general, suggest that the SEC has no authority to require disclosures that are not financially material. Missouri’s attorney general wrote that requiring climate reporting would impose “large costs and administrative burdens” on publicly traded companies. A group of senators suggested greenhouse gas-related assets would shift to private companies. West Virginia’s attorney general threatened to sue the SEC. At the same time, critics note that the costs of disclosure would vary. Some companies already intensely monitor emissions. Others would likely face high costs if Scope 3 emissions were included. An oil company, for one, might have to measure emissions from all the vehicles using its fuel

The Administrative Procedure Act allows courts to vacate SEC rules that are deemed arbitrary or capricious because the agency failed to offer sufficient justification for choosing the proposal over alternatives. The SEC is acutely aware of this risk. A prior oil and gas extraction disclosure rule was invalidated by a court in 2013 as arbitrary and capricious. 

The SEC’s proposed climate risk disclosure rules, the public comment period for which the regulator recently extended by almost a month, will not be the final effort to use information to shape the private sector’s response to climate change. What the SEC does will affect those future moves, which is likely why it took its time and is proceeding cautiously.

Daniel E. Walters is an Assistant Professor of Law at Penn State. William M. Manson is a Law Student at Penn State. (This article was initially published by The Conversation.)

Just over a year after the U.S. Securities and Exchange Commission (“SEC”) announced the launch of a Task Force in order to “proactively identify” environmental, social, and governance (“ESG”) related “misconduct” by publicly-listed companies, investment advisers, funds, and other market participants, the Task Force has initiated its first enforcement action in what could signify impending action for companies across industries. In the complaint that it filed late last month, the SEC alleges that Brazilian mining company Vale S.A. is on the hook for making “false and misleading claims about the safety of its dams” prior to the deadly collapse of its Brumadinho dam in 2019 “caused immeasurable environmental and social harm, and led to a loss of more than $4 billion in Vale’s market capitalization.” 

According to the SEC’s complaint, which was filed with the U.S. District Court for the Eastern District of New York on April 28, Vale engaged in securities fraud by “improperly obtaining stability declarations for the dam by knowingly using unreliable laboratory data; concealing material information from its dam safety auditors; disregarding accepted best practices and minimum safety standards; removing auditors and firms who threatened [its] ability to obtain dam stability declarations; and making false and misleading statements to investors.” 

Vale allegedly “knew that the dam did not meet internationally-recognized safety standards,” the SEC asserts, However, its public-facing sustainability reports and other public filings “fraudulently assured investors that the company adhered to the ‘strictest international practices’ in evaluating dam safety and that 100 percent of its dams were certified to be in stable condition.” 

“Rather than confront the high reputational and economic costs arising from the unacceptable safety risks posed by its Brumadinho dam, Vale engaged in a pattern of deceptive acts designed to skirt the applicable regulatory requirements related to dam safety,” the SEC asserts. Specifically, from February 2016 through October 2018, the regulator alleges that Vale “knowingly or recklessly obtained eight fraudulent and deceptive stability declarations in connection with corrupted audits of the Brumadinho dam.” While Vale’s “fraud and deception caused immeasurable human suffering, it also caused significant harm to investors,” the SEC argues, stating that investors relied on Vale’s statements on “several material issues, [namely], the stability of [its] dams; the nature of [its] safety practices in the wake of [a prior] dam disaster; and the actual risk of catastrophic financial consequences should any of its high-risk dams, like the Brumadinho dam, collapse.” 

With the foregoing in mind, the SEC contends that by “knowingly or recklessly engag[ing] in deceptive conduct and making materially false and misleading [ESG] statements to investors,” Vale engaged in violations of Section 10(b) of the Exchange Act, Section 17(a) of the Securities Act, and Section 13(a) of the Exchange Act. As such, the regulator is seeking a permanent injunction to bar Vale – and “all persons in active concert or participation with it” – from violating the federal securities laws alleged in the complaint, and is also seeking monetary penalties, as well as a disgorgement of all “ill-gotten gains” in connection such alleged securities fraud. 

Certainly not a retail industry case, the newly-initiated ESG enforcement action by the SEC is worthy of attention for companies across industries, including fashion/luxury, which has long been plagued by allegations of unreliable reporting and deceptive audits in connection with brands’ globally-stretching supply chains. In addition to the risks that come with brands making sustainability and climate claims that they potentially cannot backup, the SEC’s case “demonstrates that statements made in ESG reports should now be considered ripe for litigation – whether public enforcement actions or private securities litigation – as classic sources of disclosures,” according to Mintz’s Jacob H. Hupart. “Notably, the SEC’s complaint also features allegations concerning corporate governance failures and problems with the auditing process related to the ESG reports and other disclosures,” he states, asserting that “the presence of these allegations may act to reinforce the SEC’s focus on corporate governance and attestation in its proposed mandatory climate disclosures.” 

Jones Day attorneys Marjorie Duffy, Linda Hesse, Henry Klehm III, Samir Kaushik, Sarah Levine, and Joan McKown say that they “expect the SEC to use this approach more regularly in the future,” meaning that companies should consider taking “additional measures to perform an audit of their ESG-related statements and disclosures to ensure the accuracy and verifiability of such statements made in these reports, on their websites, and in connection with their representations regarding products in marketing materials and to regulators.” 

The case is SEC v. Vale S.A., 1:22-cv-02405 (E.D.N.Y.).

Six months ago, negotiators at the United Nations’ Glasgow climate summit celebrated a series of new commitments to lower global greenhouse gas emissions and build resilience to the impacts of climate change. Analysts concluded that the new promises, including phasing out coal, would bend the global warming trajectory, though still fall short of the Paris climate agreement. Today, the world looks ever more complex. Russia is waging a war on European soil, with global implications for energy and food supplies. Some leaders who a few months ago were vowing to phase out fossil fuels are now encouraging fossil fuel companies to ramp up production. 

In the U.S., the Biden administration has struggled to get its promised actions through Congress. Last-ditch efforts have been underway to salvage some kind of climate and energy bill from the abandoned Build Back Better plan. Without it, U.S. commitments to reduce emissions by over 50 percent by 2030 look fanciful, and the rest of the world knows it – adding another blow to U.S. credibility overseas. Meanwhile, severe famines have hit Yemen and the Horn of Africa. Extreme heat has been threatening lives across India and Pakistan. Australia faced historic flooding, and the Southwestern U.S. cannot keep up with the wildfires.

At the halfway point of this year’s climate negotiations, with the next U.N. climate conference in November 2022, here are three areas to watch for progress and cooperation in a world full of danger and division.

Crisis Response with Long-Term Benefits

Russia’s invasion of Ukraine has added to a triple whammy of food price, fuel price and inflationary spikes in a global economy still struggling to emerge from the pandemic. But Russia’s aggression has also forced Europe and others to move away from dependence on Russian oil, gas and coal. The G7 – Canada, France, Germany, Italy, Japan, the U.K. and the U.S. – pledged on May 8, 2022, to phase out or ban Russian oil and accelerate their shifts to clean energy.

In the short term, Europe’s pivot means much more energy efficiency – the International Energy Agency estimates that the European Union can save 15%-20% of energy demand with efficiency measures. It also means importing oil and gas from elsewhere. In the medium term, the answer lies in ramping up renewable energy.

There are issues to solve. As Europe buys up gas from other places, it risks reducing gas supplies relied on by other countries, and forcing some of those countries to return to coal, a more carbon-intense fuel that destroys air quality. Some countries will need help expanding renewable energy and stabilizing energy prices to avoid a backlash to pro-climate policies. As the West races to renewables, it will also need to secure a supply chain for critical minerals and metals necessary for batteries and renewable energy technology, including replacing an overdependence on China with multiple supply sources.

Ensuring Integrity in Corporate Commitments

Finance leaders and other private sector coalitions made headline-grabbing commitments at the Glasgow climate conference in November 2021. They promised to accelerate their transitions to net-zero emissions by 2050, and some firms and financiers were specific about ending financing for coal plants that don’t capture and store their carboncutting methane emissions and supporting ending deforestation. Their promises faced cries of “greenwashing” from many climate advocacy groups. 

Some efforts are now underway to hold companies, as well as countries, to their commitments. A U.N. group chaired by former Canadian Environment Minister Catherine McKenna, for instance, is now working on a framework to hold companies, cities, states and banks to account when they claim to have “net-zero” emissions. This is designed to ensure that companies that pledged last year to meet net-zero now say how, and on what scientific basis. 

For many companies, especially those with large emissions footprints (like fashion), part of their commitment to get to net-zero includes buying carbon offsets – often investments in nature – to balance the ledger. This summer, two efforts to put guardrails around voluntary carbon markets are expected to issue their first sets of guidance for issuers of carbon credits and for firms that want to use voluntary carbon markets to fulfill their net-zero claims. The goal is to ensure carbon markets reduce emissions and provide a steady stream of revenue for parts of the world that need finance for their green growth.

Climate Change Influencing Elections

Climate change is now an increasingly important factor in elections. French President Emmanuel Macron, trying to woo supporters of a candidate to his left and energize young voters, made more dramatic climate pledges, vowing to be “the first major nation to abandon gas, oil and coal.” With Chile’s swing to the left, the country’s redrafted constitution will incorporate climate stewardship. In Australia, Scott Morrison’s government – which supported opening one of the world’s largest coal mines at the same time the Australian private sector is focusing on renewable energy – faces an election on May 21, 2022, with heatwaves and extreme flooding fresh in voters’ minds. Brazil’s Jair Bolsonaro faces opponents in October who are talking about protecting the climate.

Elections are fought and won on pocketbook issues, and energy prices are high and inflation is taking hold. But voters around the world are also experiencing the effects of climate change firsthand and are increasingly concerned.

The Next Climate Conference

Countries will be facing a different set of economic and security challenges when the next round of U.N. talks begins in November in Sharm el-Sheikh, Egypt, compared to the challenges they faced in Glasgow. They will be expected to show progress on their commitments while struggling for bandwidth, dealing with the climate emergency as an integral part of security, economic recovery, and global health.

There is no time to push climate action out into the future. Every decimal point of warming avoided is an opportunity for better health, more prosperity and better security.

Rachel Kyte is the Dean of the Fletcher School at Tufts University. (This article was initially published by The Conversation.)

Allbirds has escaped a false advertising lawsuit accusing it of failing to live up to the claims that it makes in its sustainability-centric marketing, including ones about the carbon footprint of its popular footwear, and its “sustainable” and “responsible” manufacturing practices. In an opinion and order dated April 18, Judge Cathy Seibel of the U.S. District Court for the Southern District of New York granted Allbirds’ motion to dismiss, tossing out the lawsuit that plaintiff Patricia Dwyer filed against it in the summer of 2021, in which she alleged that despite Allbirds’ advertising being “replete with eco-friendly phrases,” the reality of its operations does not match that “eco-friendly”-focused marketing, and the footwear brand has peddled “false, deceptive and misleading” information. 

Specifically, Dwyer alleged in her June 2021 complaint that in furtherance of its offering up its wool-based footwear, Allbirds makes “representations such as: ‘Sustainability Meets Style,’ ‘Low Carbon Footprint,’ ‘Environmentally Friendly,’ ‘Made with Sustainable Wool,’ ‘Reversing Climate Change…’ and ‘Our Sustainable Practices,’” which Dwyer claimed are misleading. Among other things, she took issue with Allbirds’ use of the Higg Material Sustainability Index (“MSI”) to measure the environmental impact of apparel materials, arguing that the Higg MSI “only [addresses] raw materials and lacks standards for comparing different materials,” among other things. 

Additionally, Dwyer asserted that Allbirds’ life cycle assessment (“LCA”) tool – which it uses to identify the carbon footprint of each of its products – does not assess the environmental impact beyond the manufacturing of the shoes, themselves, such as the impact of “wool production, including on water, eutrophication, or land occupation,” and thus, “exclude[s] almost half of wool’s environmental impact.” As such, she argued that the carbon footprint figures that Allbirds advertises “are based on ‘the most conservative assumption for each calculation, [which] skew the calculations in [Allbirds’] own favor,’ so it can make more significant environmental claims.” 

And still yet, Dwyer accused Allbirds, which went public on the Nasdaq in November 2021, of making “misleading animal welfare claims” by improperly “promot[ing] the ‘happy’ sheep” whose wool is at the heart of its products and claiming that its “wool harvesting practices are sustainable [and] humane.”

Not Misleading to a Reasonable Consumer

In her April 18 order, Judge Seibel sided with Allbirds across the board, first finding that Dwyer failed to plausibly allege that the statements that Allbirds makes about the environmental impact of its products and animal welfare are materially misleading. This means that she fell short of making her deceptive business practices and false advertising claims under New York General Business Law. “To state a claim under either section [of the New York General Business Law], a plaintiff must show ‘first, that the challenged act or practice was consumer-oriented; second, that it was misleading in a material way; and third, that the plaintiff suffered injury as a result of the deceptive act,’” the Judge stated.

First examining Allbirds’ environmental impact claims, and namely, Dwyer’s pushback against its use of the LCA tool and the Higg MSI as the basis for such claims, Judge Seibel determined that Dwyer’s “criticism [is] of the tool’s methodology,” not with Allbirds’ statements about its products. Specifically, the court states that Dwyer does not allege that the calculations that Allbirds provides in connection with its carbon footprint are wrong, or that Allbirds “falsely describes the way it undertakes those calculations.” Dwyer also does not “allege that a reasonable consumer would expect [Allbirds] to use another method of calculation or would be misled by [its] use of the LCA tool or the Higg MSI,” according to the court. 

In fact, “in advertising [its] product’s carbon footprint calculations, Allbirds describes the exact components of the calculation, and [Dwyer] provides no facts suggesting that [it] is not calculating the carbon footprint as advertised,” the court states, noting that Allbirds “does not mislead the reasonable consumer because it makes clear what is included in the carbon footprint calculation, and does not suggest that any factors are included that really are not.” 

While the court states that “there may well be room for improvement in the Higg MSI,” that does not mean that Allbirds’ reliance on that “current standard” is deceptive. 

Allbirds Lawsuit

Turning to Allbirds’ animal welfare claims, namely, its marketing that depicts “happy” sheep in “pastoral settings,” which Dwyer claims are based on “empty welfare policies that do little to stop animal suffering,” the court, again sides with Allbirds on the basis that Dwyer fails to identify “any misstatement in any advertisement that would deceive consumers.” 

Dwyer points to two advertisements that show sheep in a field, one of which says, “What if every time you got a haircut they made shoes out of it? That would be pretty cool,” and the other of which says, “Behind every shoe is a sheep. And behind every sheep, is another sheep, probably.” However, according to the court, “These ads, which are obviously intended to be humorous, make no representations at all,” and thus, are not actionable.

As for Allbirds’ claim that its wool harvesting practices are “sustainable, humane and that it intends to eventually source ‘only wool from ‘regenerative’ sources,” the court states that the underlying evidence that Dwyer relies on (i.e., a PETA publication that found cruelty to sheep at over 100 large-scale operations) “does not describe any animal cruelty specific to Allbirds or its products.” Beyond that, Judge Seibel stated that Dwyer’s “allegations that the [wool] industry as a whole deceives consumers do not satisfy her burden to allege that a specific advertisement or statement by Allbirds would mislead a reasonable consumer as to [its] product.” 

And finally, the court shot down Dwyer’s claim that Allbirds’ statement “Our Sheep Live The Good Life” is misleading and deceptive, finding that “this statement, and the depictions of ‘happy’ sheep in ‘pastoral settings,’ are classic puffery, which is not actionable under §349,” which prohibits “deceptive acts or practices in the conduct of any business, trade or commerce or in the furnishing of any service in [New York] state.” 

Specifically, the Judge determines that “‘The Good Life’ is a subjective, non-specific, unmeasurable, and vague statement” that “does not specify any fact about the sheep from which [Allbirds] gets its wool, let alone suggest, as [Dwyer] alleges, that the sheep receive individual care or do not undergo [an inhumane] procedure.”  

Because Allbirds’ “statements, advertisements, and practices relating to [its] products are not materially misleading,” the Judge dismissed Dwyer’s New York General Business Law claims. She similarly dismisses Dwyer’s claims for breach of express warranty, fraud, and unjust enrichment, stating they are “all premised on the assertion that Allbirds’ environmental impact and animal welfare claims are materially misleading” and noting that she “already determined that [Dwyer] fails to allege that the statements, advertising, and practices relating to the [Allbirds products] would be likely to deceive or mislead a reasonable consumer.”

While this loss for Dwyer in her lawsuit against Allbirds may serve to dissuade other potential plaintiffs from taking action over sustainability-centric advertising claims, it is worth noting that a number of other cases that center on sustainability marketing, including cases filed against Reynolds Consumer Products and Red Lobster, are still underway in federal courts in the U.S., and may result in different outcomes for the parties and potentially, for how courts look at sustainability marketing more generally. 

The case is Patricia Dwyer v. Allbirds, Inc., 7:21-cv-05238 (SDNY).

A lawsuit over allegedly misleading advertising from Canada Goose has come to a close, with the parties seemingly settling their fight out of court. In a joint filing on Wednesday, counsels for plaintiff George Lee and Canada Goose alerted the U.S. District Court for the Southern District of New York that they have “stipulated and agreed … that the action is voluntarily dismissed.” Lee filed suit against Canada Goose in 2020, accusing the Toronto-based outerwear brand of allegedly misleading consumers as to the nature of the trapping methods that are used to source the fur for its buzzy jackets by claiming that it is dedicated to “the ethical, responsible, and sustainable sourcing and use of real fur,” and running afoul of the District of Columbia Consumer Protection Procedures Act in the process. 

According to the proposed class action complaint that he filed in November 2020, Lee claimed that when he purchased a fur-trimmed parka from Canada Goose in 2017, he relied on the company’s sustainability-centric representations, including that its fur is sourced using ethical and humane trapping methods, only to learn that “Canada Goose’s suppliers use cruel methods” to trap “coyotes and other animals.” Against that background, Lee argued that the popular outerwear-maker has been unjustly enriched as a result of such misleading advertising because consumers “are willing to pay more for products labeled and marketed … [as being] ethically and sustainably sourced” than they are for “competing products that do not provide such assurances.” Canada Goose knows this, Lee asserted, which is why it “cultivates an image of products [that are] a humane alternative for consumers who wish to avoid fur products that are sourced using inhumane, unsustainable, and unethical trapping practices.” 

Lee moved to voluntarily drop the case, which was dismissed by the court in its entirety with prejudice on April 27, and Canada Goose is not believed to have made any financial payment to prompt a settlement.

A Case Worth Noting

The proceedings in the Canada Goose lawsuit are notable for at least a couple of reasons. Primarily, it is worth noting that Lee’s allegations survived the motion to dismiss that Canada Goose filed early last year, in which it argued that Lee’s claims should be tossed out on the basis that its allegedly misleading statements about the “sustainability” of its business, for instance, are not actionable because they are too general to be proven or disproven. More than that, Canada Goose argued that Lee’s “subjective views” regarding fur-trapping standards “do not render [its] statements misleading or deceptive,” and that he has failed to show injury anywhere outside of Washington, D.C., and therefore, lacks standing to bring claims under other states’ consumer-protection statutes. 

In a decision in June 2021, Judge Victor Marrero of the U.S. District Court for the Southern District of New York refused to dismiss Lee’s DC Consumer Protection Procedures Act claim with respect to Canada Goose’s statement that it is committed to “ethical, responsible, and sustainable sourcing,” holding that Lee had “plausibly alleged that this statement has the tendency to mislead a reasonable consumer.” Specifically, the court held that Canada Goose’s statement may be misleading because the company “obtains fur from trappers who use allegedly inhumane leghold traps and snares,” which Lee alleges “is widely considered inhumane by industry professionals.” 

The court held that Lee’s allegations were “thin,” but in viewing the complaint in the light most favorable to him, found that he had plausibly alleged that a reasonable consumer would be misled by Canada Goose’s advertising claims, a determination that could serve as impetus for other potential plaintiffs, particularly in light of a surge in sustainability marketing by brands in fashion and beyond. As Hogan Lovells’ Isabel Carvalho and David Tyler stated recently, sustainability marketing “has become a key component to leverage businesses that are based on” – or allegedly based on – “environmentally and socially conscious practices, since consumers have become increasingly focused on various aspects of sustainability.” 

The distinction between sustainability-centric statements that are too forward-looking to be actionable or that amount to mere puffery, and those that are actionable from a false advertising perceptive has been relatively hazy, and largely, unchecked by lawsuits. However, in light of the sheer surge in sustainability-focused marketing by apparel and footwear brands has come widespread claims of greenwashing and a growing wave of lawsuits, which makes the Canada Goose lawsuit significant, as it is one of a growing number of sustainability-related class actions that have been filed over the past couple of years. 

Reynolds Consumer Products, for instance, was sued in May 2021 in a California federal court for advertising its bags as “recyclable” and as enabling users to “reduce your environmental impact.” A month later, Red Lobster was sued in federal court in California in connection with its claims that its offerings are “Traceable, Sustainable. Responsible” and made from “Seafood With Standards.” (Both of those cases are still underway.) 

And also in June 2021, Allbirds was slapped with a headline-making suit in New York federal court for allegedly failing to live up to the claims that is makes in its sustainability-centric marketing, including about the carbon footprint of its products, and its “sustainable” and “responsible” manufacturing practices. In an order dated April 18, Judge Cathy Seibel granted Allbirds’ motion to dismiss, finding that, among other things, plaintiff Patricia Dwyer failed to plausibly allege that Allbirds advertising statements are materially misleading. 

The case is George Lee, et. al., v. Canada Goose US, Inc., 1:20-cv-09809 (SDNY).