Header graphic for print
Retail Law Advisor

Category Archives: Environmental

Subscribe to Environmental RSS Feed

Sustainability in Retail: Going Strong and Expected to Continue

Posted in Environmental, Green, Retail

The COP21 meeting has been underway for the last week, with just a few more days left to go. The meeting, an annual session which started following the 1992 United Nations Framework on Climate Change, brings together businesses, policymakers and other thought leaders to advance an important conversation on global warming. The challenge for business… Continue Reading

Claims about Biodegradable Plastics Breakdown Under FTC Scrutiny: Marketers Beware!

Posted in Compliance, Environmental, Green, Litigation, Retail

In the recent administrative proceeding before the Federal Trade Commission (FTC) against ECM Biofilms, Inc. (ECM), the FTC’s presiding chief administrative law judge (ALJ) ruled that the plastics additive manufacturer ECM violated the FTC Act by deceptively claiming, and providing others with the means to claim, that plastics treated with ECM’s additives would completely biodegrade… Continue Reading

Climate Change Adaptation: Massachusetts Releases New Policies to Address

Posted in Environmental, Retail

In one of our prior posts, we reported on efforts by Boston and New York City, in the wake of Hurricane Sandy, to undertake comprehensive climate change preparedness planning to review the vulnerabilities of each city’s built environment and to assess potential measures to enhance the resilience of both public and private infrastructure. Today, we… Continue Reading

Adaptive Reuse: Boom or Bust?

Posted in Development, Environmental, Green, Real Estate, Retail

Adaptive reuse of older, unused, or under-used buildings is considered by many to be an important component of sustainable and environmentally-friendly development. Also, adaptive reuse is a concept that governmental officials, many developers, and some communities have embraced to revitalize older neighborhoods suffering from abandonment or general decline. Adaptive reuse may be the draw for… Continue Reading

Massachusetts Food Waste Regulations Finalized: Waste-to-Energy Operations Make Headway under New Permitting Program

Posted in Environmental, Municipalities, Permitting

January was a milestone month for Massachusetts’ goal to divert food waste and other organic waste from landfills and to convert that waste to a productive fuel source. Massachusetts announced final regulations requiring the separation of food waste from other garbage just a few weeks after issuing a permit for the Commonwealth’s first operation to… Continue Reading

Retailers, Universities, Hospitals, Hotels, and Restaurants Among Those to Be Affected by New Massachusetts Food Waste Regulations

Posted in Environmental, Green, Retail

Supermarkets, universities, hospitals, hotels, and restaurants that generate one ton or more of food, plant, or other organic waste per week will be obligated to comply with new Massachusetts regulations that require segregating that organic waste from other solid waste. This organic waste ban regulation is scheduled to go into effect July 1, 2014. Small… Continue Reading

Climate Change Preparedness: Cities Planning for a Rising Tide

Posted in Environmental, Municipalities, Retail, Risk Management

Hurricane Sandy and other recent events have highlighted the vulnerability of coastal cities to the effects of climate change, which appear to include more frequent and more extensive coastal flooding. In the wake of these events, coastal cities such as Boston and New York City have undertaken comprehensive climate change preparedness planning processes to review… Continue Reading

Changing Massachusetts Brownfields Regulations: Retailers Should Take Note of Upcoming May 17th Deadline to Comment

Posted in Development, Environmental, Green, Retail

A NAIOP event held at Goulston & Storrs recently focused on big changes coming to the Massachusetts Brownfields regulations, also known as the MCP. Retailers should take note of these regulations. They are directly relevant if you own or lease real estate in Massachusetts at which environmental contamination issues are (or were previously) present because… Continue Reading

New Energy Efficiency Requirements in Store for Commercial Buildings in Massachusetts

Posted in Compliance, Environmental, Green, Retail

Owners, managers, and developers of commercial buildings in Massachusetts need to be alert for impending updates to the Commonwealth’s energy efficiency standards. In addition to adopting mandatory changes to the State Building Code, regulators may also update the Stretch Energy Code. Although some transition period will likely be provided, the new standards will soon take… Continue Reading

Is Your Product Really “Green”? Marketing Environmentally Friendly Products under the FTC “Green Guides”

Posted in Environmental, Green, Retail

Retailers that market their products as environmentally friendly or “green” should take note of the latest updates to the Federal Trade Commission’s Green Guides. The Green Guides are intended to protect consumers from misleading claims in advertisements, labeling, promotional materials and all other forms of marketing. Marketers are expected to use clear language and to… Continue Reading

Municipal Shopping Bag Bans, Fees & Taxes – A Growing Trend?

Posted in Environmental, Green, Retail

With November upon us and the holiday season just around the corner, shoppers in some U.S. cities will need to remember to bring their own reusable bags on holiday shopping excursions. Over the last several years, a growing number of U.S. cities have passed municipal bans on single-use plastic shopping bags and imposed fees for… Continue Reading

Wal-Mart Goes Solar

Posted in Environmental, Green, Retail

In a recent press release, Wal-Mart Stores Inc. announced plans to install solar panels at its Massachusetts-based stores, and that it had already begun acting on plans to install solar panels at its other stores in other states, including California. Wal-Mart officials estimate that the panels will generate between 10-to-15 percent of each store’s energy… Continue Reading

Run Your Meter Backwards: Net Metering and Other Opportunities For Retailers

Posted in Environmental, Green, Retail

Due to recent regulatory and market changes, owners and managers of large retail facilities can feasibly generate a larger share of their own energy on-site from alternative and renewable energy sources (including solar, small wind, and other “distributed generation” technologies), as well as become eligible to receive credits from their local distribution utility for excess… Continue Reading

Do You Have A Dry Cleaner In Your Shopping Center? (In Other Words, Why Does Vapor Intrusion Matter To You?)

Posted in Environmental, Green

Vapor intrusion is an indoor air quality issue that recently is getting much more attention from state and federal regulators. Massachusetts is an example of a state that has been very active in this area In addition, the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency has announced that it will publish final guidelines on vapor intrusion later this… Continue Reading