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Disclosure, Greenwashing, and the Future of ESG Litigation


Barbara Ballan and Jason J. Czarnezki


June 13, 2024

The Environmental, Social, and Governance (“ESG”) disclosure movement is expanding both voluntarily, as businesses choose to disclose this information, and mandatorily, as government agencies impose disclosure requirements. As ESG disclosure expands, so do the litigation risks. “Greenwashing” refers to presenting false or misleading environmental or sustainability (i.e., “green”) qualities of products, services, or practices. Businesses may greenwash consumers as well as investors with false and misleading ESG disclosures in advertising, securities filings, or other public statements activating greenwashing litigation from investors and consumers. This Article addresses (1) the laws and regulations that cover consumer and securities greenwashing litigation, (2) how these forms of greenwashing litigation are evolving, and (3) the synergistic relationships that do, and should, exist between these forms of litigation.


Barbara Ballan & Jason J. Czarnezki, Disclosure, Greenwashing, and the Future of ESG Litigation, 81 Wash. & Lee L. Rev. 545 (2024).