EcoLabels

There are a variety of eco-labels being used on products and services to indicate that the product or service has a reduced environmental or human health impact and/or is socially responsible.  Unfortuneately, due to minimal government oversight, there are many misleading eco-labels on the market today.  Use the information on this page to help identify and use legitimate eco-labels when selecting or specifying “green” products and services.

How to Identify Credible Eco-Labels

Not all eco-labels are created the same.  Look for/ask about the following before using an eco-label in a specification.

1.Who created the eco-label standard?  Was it an independent, third-party with no conflict of interest?

2. Is the standard publicly available?

3. Does the eco-label standard have meaningful, clear, consistent and specific criteria that is better than the status quo?

4. How are certified products/services verified that they meet the standard?  Independent audits or self-certification?

5. Was the eco-label standard developed with an open, transparent process with broad stakeholder participation?

Commonly Used Eco-Labels in the U.S.

Additional Eco-Label Resources

U.S. Federal Trade Commission – Guides for the Use of Environmental Claims

Eco-Labels Center by Consumer Reports

The Seven Sins of Greenwashing

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