The U.S. Environmental Protection Agency's Design for the Environment (DfE) program seeks to promote the use of products with improved environmental and human health characteristics. The key purpose of the DfE-Eco Concepts partnership is to recognize and encourage the environmental preferable chemistry of the partnership products. By eliminating hazardous solvents, environmentally persistent surfactants, zinc cross-link agents, and other harmful ingredients, we demonstrate active environmental stewardship and a dedication to continuous improvement. Institutional service, janitorial, and maintenance companies that use our products will be participants in this important national effort to protect the environment and safeguard human health.
Meeting Design for Environment Standards
Focus on reduction of chemical risk and improvements in energy efficiency
Individual Ingredient Focus
Wide Range of Products
Partnership focus: Interactive Raw Materials Database
Strict Standards for an Extensive Range of Raw Materials
Founded in 1989, Green Seal provides science-based environmental certification standards that are credible, transparent, and essential in an increasingly educated and competitive marketplace. Their industry knowledge and standards help manufacturers, purchasers, and end users alike make responsible choices that positively impact business behavior and improve quality of life. Green Seal provides science-based environmental certification standards that are credible, transparent, and essential in an increasingly educated and competitive marketplace. Green Seal's evaluations are based on state-of-the-art science and information using internationally recognized methods and procedures.
Green Seal's standard-setting process is open, collaborative, and fair. They have many built-in checks that ensure they are unbiased, realistic, and that the products they certify reach high levels of performance and quality. Products only become Green Seal certified after rigorous testing and evaluation, including on-site plant visits. The Green "Seal of Approval" has come to stand for reliability, fairness, and integrity.
Meeting Green Seal Standards
Independent non-profit Organization
Science-based environmental Certification
Effect of Individual Ingredients Diluted is considered
Very High Product Performance Standard
Includes Strict Labeling and Packaging Requirement
EcoLogo is North America’s most widely recognized and respected certification of environmental leadership, setting standards and certifying products in more than 120 categories. There are currently more than 7,000 EcoLogo-certified products from hundreds of manufacturers. For buyers, EcoLogo is a tool to find, understand, and trust genuinely “green” products. For marketers, EcoLogo is a third-party endorsement, a sales tool, and a marketing program. By helping the buyers and sellers of genuinely green products find one another, EcoLogo rewards environmental leaders and helps shift the marketplace toward sustainability. Launched by the Canadian federal government in 1988, EcoLogo is North America’s oldest environmental standard and certification organization (and the second oldest in the world). It is the only North American standard accredited by the Global Ecolabeling Network as meeting the international ISO 14024 standard for Type I (third-party certified, multi-attribute) environmental labels.
EcoLogoM certification criteria documents (CCDs) are developed in an open, public and transparent process, with a broad base of stakeholder participation including user groups (e.g. procurement associations, institutional purchasers and consumer protection organizations), product producers (e.g. industry members and associations), government / regulators, general science-based representatives (e.g. academics, life cycle experts and other scientists), environmental non-governmental organizations (ENGOs), and other environmental advocates. The criteria address multiple environmental attributes related to human health and environmental considerations throughout the life cycle of the product. Currently, there are 122 Certification Criteria Documents addressing over 250 product types.
Meeting Ecologo™ Program Standards
North America's Most Stringent Standard
Third-party certification of environmentally-preferable products
Focus on Protection of Water Resources
Very High Product Performance Standard
Includes Strict Labeling and Packaging Requirement
Strict Standards for an Extensive Range of Raw Materials
Australia's Good Environmental Choice (LN: ECP-2010)
Good Environmental Choice Australia (GECA), a not-for-profit organisation, exists to reduce environmental harm by promoting the production and consumption of environmentally preferable products and services. The Environmental Choice Australia ecolabel, launched in November 2001 provides to the community and commercial markets an environmental mark of recognition for a wide range of products and services.
The Good Environmental Choice Label is the only environmental labelling program in Australia which indicates the environmental performance of a product from a whole of product life perspective for consumer goods. The label is awarded to products that meet voluntary environmental performance standards which have been created and assessed in conformance to international environmental labelling standards. The program is internationally recognised and growing in demand and awareness throughout different industries.
The Carpet and Rug Institute (CRI) is the national trade association representing the carpet and rug industry. Headquartered in Dalton, Georgia, the Institute's membership consists of manufacturers representing over 90% of all carpet produced in the United States, and suppliers of raw materials and services to the industry. There is continued coordination with other segments of the industry, such as distributors, retailers, and installers. CRI is a source of extensive carpet information for consumers, writers, interior designers, specifiers, facility managers, architects, builders, and building owners and managers, installation contractors, and retailers.
Proper cleaning is critical to extending carpet's life and appearance especially in high traffic areas. CRI's Seal of Approval program sets test methods and performance criteria for two categories of cleaning products.
Meeting Carpet and Rug Institute Seal of Approval Standards
Identifies effective Carpet Cleaning solutions and equipment that clean carpet right the first time, protect a facility's carpet investment and do not damage the environment
independent laboratory testing off the shelf products
high standard for cleaning solutions
consider effect of cleaning products on rate of resoiling and damage to carpet's color and texture
U.S. General Services Administration
GSA’s mission is to "help federal agencies better serve the public by offering, at best value, superior workplaces, expert solutions, acquisition services and management policies." GSA consists of the Federal Acquisition Service (FAS), the Public Buildings Service (PBS), and various Staff Offices, including the Office of Congressional and Intergovernmental Affairs (OCIA). Eleven Regional Offices extend GSA’s outreach to federal customers nationwide.
In the 21st Century, GSA is focusing increasingly on adding value through new, efficient, and effective ways for federal employees to do their work. GSA, building on its strong record of accomplishment, is helping to create a citizen-centric, results-oriented government that is even more productive and responsible to all Americans.
Eco Concepts Inc. has a Federal Supply Schedule contract, contract number GS-07F-0260W, with GSA for sale to all federal agencies of the U.S. Federal Government in the Contiguous 48 States, as well as Alaska, Hawaii, and Puerto Rico.
U.S. Green Building Council
The U.S. Green Building Council (USGBC) is a Washington, D.C.-based nonprofit organization committed to a prosperous and sustainable future through cost-efficient and energy-saving green buildings. USGBC works toward its mission of market transformation through its LEED green building certification program, robust educational offerings, a nationwide network of chapters and affiliates, the annual Greenbuild International Conference & Expo, and advocacy in support of public policy that encourages and enables green buildings and communities.
The Orthodox Union (the “OU”) is the world’s largest kosher certification agency, certifying over 275,000 products produced in nearly 6,000 plants located in 68 countries around the world. This vast array includes consumer items, industrial ingredients, and food services. Like the Good Housekeeping Seal of Approval, the logo, one of the world’s best-known trademarks, instills confidence in the purchaser that the product has passed inspection and meets high quality standards. Many of the world’s most recognized brands, large and small, choose them for their kosher certification, including Avede, BASF, Best Foods, Cerestar, Coca Cola, Cognis, Peter Cremer, Danisco, DSM, General Mills, Symrise (Haarmann & Reimer), Chr. Hansen, Hebei Welcome Pharmaceutical, H.J. Heinz, Kraft/Nabisco, M&M, McCormick & Co., Nestlé, Procter & Gamble, Pillsbury, Quest, Reynolds Aluminum, Rhodia, and thousands more.
The Kosher logo indicates that a product may be consumed by all those who observe kosher dietary laws, as well as by many others who have special dietary requirements, such as Moslems and Seventh Day Adventists. It also serves as a guide to millions of individuals who are vegetarian or lactose intolerant.
This logo represents Eco Concepts’ commitment to ensuring that the raw materials used in our products are not animal derived, or subjected to animal testing.
Why Certified Green is important
There is a lot of "green" products in the market, they all claimed to be green, are they really "green"?
This is where green product certifications come in, what they do is to verify that a product meets specific standards. Green certifications offer a third-party validation, a way to determine a product meet environmental criteria specified in the standard of the certifying body. Obtaining a green certifications is voluntary process, hence green product certifications are showcases for manufacturers genuinely interested in being taken seriously by facility executives and consumers who want to purchase products with verified green claims.
Green certifications are a good indicator that specific environmental claims have been verified by a reputable authority. This really help purchaser who may not be a technical expert in any one area to buy a product with some level of confidence that it really has been tested, and the product really completes all the environmental issues expected. This also helps limit greenwash, i.e. manufacturers that use green as a hook to market products with little or no verification of their claims or others that emphasize the positive attributes while playing down less attractive attributes. Green Certifications help to bring consistency and ensure consumers really get what they want.
Some certifications are single-attribute, they only look at one particular criterion, like Energy Star, an energy consumption criterion certification. Other certifications look at several product characteristics that are known as multiple attribute certification. Some took a step further and examine a product's raw material, how it is manufactured, how it performs and what happens to it when it life is over. These are life cycle-based certifications. And there are certifications that also include performance standards as their criteria.
Good reputable certifying bodies develop their standards in an objective and consensus-based manner with a strong foundation of environmental science. Also their standards are open, transparent and easily accessible by the public, so the purchasers, without too much effort, should be able to identify what the specific criteria of the standard are and how the standard came into being. moreover, the standard should be stringent enough so that only the upper echelon of product in a certain product category can achieve the certification.
Examples like U.S. Green Seal, a nonprofit, third party organization that provides multiple-attribute certifications with life cycle based criteria and performance standard. They requires third party testing on standard and performance criteria, checking of manufacturing facility for quality control procedures and certified products are subject to annual recertification. Green Seal is also highly selective, "Green Seal's goal is to be a leadership standard, so they've tried to set the bar where only about 20 percent of manufacturer can achieve it."
Canadian Environmental Choice program (Ecologo) are also a multiple-attribute certifications with life cycle based criteria and performance standard. Their standard is considered one of the most stringent in the world.
When green is a high priority, green certifications is valuable and important in the overall product selection process for facilities executives and consumers.
Are there any differences between Green Seal, Ecologo and DfE?
Green Seal and Ecologo each manage environmental certification programs that define green cleaners and include evaluation and verification procedures to identify products meeting their standards. These standards were developed through extensive, public, consensus-based processes consistent with the ISO 14020 and 14024 environmental label guidelines. Both programs conduct on-sire audits at the manufacturing facilities and reference widely accessible test methods as part of their certification process.
U.S. Environmental Protection Agency's Design for the Environment (DfE) Formulator Initiative provide programs designed to help manufacturers improve the environment performance of their cleaning products and/or define protocols to help manufacturers evaluate and improve their products.
The advantage of the Green Seal and Ecologo programs is that they place more stringent requirement on product ingredients than DfE, which does not address certain categories of ingredients such as endocrine-disrupting chemicals. However, DfE has more complete addresses the environmental impacts of the entire manufacturing process, but they does not recommend or endorse products, companies that reformulate their products based on its recommendations are eligible to use the DfE logo.
article taken from the Responsible Purchasing Network Centre for a New American Dream