Katten ESG Guidepost is a monthly publication highlighting the latest news, legal and regulatory developments involving environmental, social and governance matters.

To read more issues of Katten ESG Guidepost, please click here.

Author of Voluntary Carbon Market Disclosures Act Notes Intent to Begin Compliance in 2025

By Johnjerica Hodge, India Williams, Alison Clark

California has garnered a significant amount of attention due to its recent legislation in the environmental, social and governance (ESG) arena — namely, Senate Bill No. 253, the Climate Corporate Data Accountability Act; Senate Bill No. 261, Greenhouse Gases: Climate-Related Financial Risk; and Assembly Bill No. 1305, the Voluntary Carbon Market Disclosures Act. As companies prepare to comply with those laws, the Voluntary Carbon Market Disclosures Act went into effect this month, requiring certain entities to make a series of disclosures if they market, sell, purchase or use voluntary carbon offsets. Read about the Voluntary Carbon Market Disclosures Act.

Johnjerica Hodge Guest Stars on Breaking Barriers Podcast

Johnjerica Hodge appeared on Hire Ground's Breaking Barriers podcast to discuss the intersection of law, ESG factors and racial equity. Johnjerica noted that when a company is facing legal challenges, the complexities of also maintaining ESG and diversity, equity, and inclusion (DEI) commitments can be difficult but necessary. Read about the Breaking Barrier's podcast.

District Court Refuses to Dismiss Putative Class Action Challenging Meaning of 'Carbon Neutral' Claim

By Chris Cole

The latest blow to using carbon offsets and carbon neutral claims comes in a devastating court opinion from the US District Court for the Southern District of New York. There, the court denied a motion to dismiss a lawsuit challenging a company's "carbon neutral" claim on the product's packaging. The claim was premised on a third-party certification, provided by the Carbon Trust, that the product's lifecycle carbon emissions had been fully offset. The court's decision creates difficulty for advertisers making "carbon neutral" claims, as it characterizes the term as ambiguous and credits the plaintiffs' allegations regarding consumer confusion that the term provokes. This decision could inspire similar claims by plaintiffs in other courts and against other advertisers. Read Katten's advisory.

Ramana Rameswaran and Johnjerica Hodge Discuss Health Care and ESG During Voices in Health Law Podcast

Partners Johnjerica Hodge and Ramana Rameswaran discussed the intersection of health care law and ESG during a podcast episode, Voices in Health Law, produced by the American Bar Association's Health Law Section. Ramana and Johnjerica spoke about the increasingly prominent role ESG is playing in the health care sector, strategies companies can implement to fortify their ESG programs, and trends in the space. Read about the Voices in Health Law podcast.

Alternative Credit Investor Interviews Kumar Tewari About Real Estate Debt Market

Speaking with Alternative Credit Investor, London Private Credit Partner Kumar Tewari discussed how some alternative lenders prioritize affordable and energy-efficient housing in response to the growing demand for ESG-friendly investments. Because some traditional lenders may refuse to fund housing projects with low energy performance certificates, new build developments are preferred over refurbishments. Read about Kumar's comments.