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. 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 environmentally preferable or socially responsible 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