R3 Certifying Organizations
DESIGN FOR THE ENVIRONMENT is the U.S. government’s vehicle for the promotion of green practices. Working under the Office of Pollution Prevention and Toxics (an office of the EPA) the DfE Formulator program addresses cleaning products. However, the DfE does not offer certifications; rather they create “partnerships” with companies that commit voluntarily to incorporate environmental considerations into their design processes. Manufacturers submit a product’s entire chemical formulation to DfE and the program uses a group of EPA aquatic toxicity experts, human health experts and green chemistry experts to review a breakdown of the product as prepared by a qualified third party. If the company’s products are deemed green enough, DfE enters into a “partnership” with the manufacturer.
Also under their sponsorship is the CleanGredient™ database. This online subscription service provides a database of institutional and industrial cleaning ingredients that feature green formulations. At this time the database includes surfactants for hard surface and carpet cleaning, laundry and hand dish soaps. DfE is adding solvents, fragrances and colorants as well.
Most likely building service contractors will not need to access the CleanGredient™ database; however, they should be aware it exists as government agencies and purchasing groups are instituting green purchasing programs that require the use of DfE recognized chemicals.