It’s Earth Day. Today there are events all around the world focusing on our planet and how to be more green. We all need to do our part to help preserve our environment for our children and their kids. Being the outstanding person you are, we at Parr know that you also want to help save the Earth for future generations. One way you can help is by looking for green labels and certifications. There are no such things as Earth Day labels, but there are many eco-friendly products with labels or certifications for Energy Star, Greenguard, Green Seal, SCS, SFI, and EPA WaterSense.
Energy Star is a U.S. Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) voluntary program that helps businesses and individuals save money and protect our climate through energy efficiency. The Energy Star qualification process requires that products be tested in EPA–recognized laboratories, with the results reviewed by an independent, accredited certification organization. In addition to up–front testing, a percentage of all Energy Star products are subject to off–the–shelf verification testing each year. The goal of this testing is to ensure that changes or variations in the manufacturing process do not lead to products failing to meet Energy Star efficiency requirements.
Greenguard Certification is part of UL Environment, a business unit of Underwriters Laboratories. Greenguard Certification helps buyers identify interior products and materials that have low chemical emissions, improving the quality of the air in which the products are used. All certified products must meet stringent emissions standards based on established chemical exposure criteria. Greenguard Certification is broadly recognized and accepted by sustainable building programs and building codes around the world.
Green Seal offers certification for the products, services, and companies that meet Green Seal standards. The Green Seal mark represents compliance with a rigorous set of criteria designed to achieve leadership levels in sustainability. Those that have been certified have met the same performance and quality requirements you would expect from the traditional, non-green counterparts due to the performance criteria in each of the Green Seal standards. Green Seal certification is not just a one-time deal. Companies establish an ongoing commitment to health and the environment through annual compliance monitoring and work towards continuous improvement.
SCS is a third-party certifier of a wide range of products for such attributes as recycled content and biodegradradability. Their environmental claims certification program is a truth-in-labeling seal. SCS certifies Environmentally Perferrable Products for their impact on the environment. SCS also provides audits of forests under FSC guidelines and certifies claims in other categories such as biodegradable, indoor air quality, poison free materials,and recycled, postconsumer material content.
SFI is an independent, non-profit organization responsible for maintaining, overseeing and improving a sustainable forestry certification program that is internationally recognized and is the largest single forest standard in the world. The SFI 2010-2014 Standard is based on principles and measures that promote sustainable forest management and consider all forest values. It includes unique fiber sourcing requirements to promote responsible forest management on all forest lands in North America. When they see the SFI label on a product, consumers can be confident they are buying wood or paper from certified forests or certified sourcing — whether it is reams of paper, packaging, or lumber products.
WaterSense makes it easy to find and select water efficient products and ensures consumer confidence in those products with a label backed by independent certification. Certifying organizations help maintain the WaterSense integrity and credibility by verifying and testing products for: conformance to WaterSense specifications, efficiency, performance, label use and also conduct periodic market surveillance. Products bearing the WaterSense label:
- Perform as well or better than their less efficient counterparts
- Are 20% more water efficient than average products in that category
- Realize water savings on a national level
- Provide measurable water savings results
- Achieve water efficiency through several technology options
- Are effectively differentiated by the WaterSense label
- Obtain independent, third-party certification