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ecology-minded

R3 Certifying Organizations

ECOLOGO was founded in 1988 by the Canadian government and now operates as part of the environmental marketing firm Terra Choice. EcoLogo sets environmental criteria and Terra Choice helps market products with EcoLogos. There are 200 product categories EcoLogo certifies. Their advisory board, which develops and updates criteria, consists of environmental advocates, consumer groups, professional purchasers, regulators, industry and environmental academia. Standards are based on International Standard Organization (ISO) 9000 (quality management) and 14000 (environmental aspects) series.

EcoLogo is what ISO calls a type-one ecolabel, meaning it is life-cycle based and multi-attribute. They consider energy, toxics and other factors that represent potential environmental impact of the product.

Their newest certification is for disinfectant cleaners (CCD-166). Disinfectants, as a category, have definite environmental disadvantages which has kept groups from certifying them as green. However, the EcoLogo emblem will not appear on disinfectants as the EPA prohibits such products from being labeled or marketed as green, but building service contractors can use products that qualify under CCD-166 when facility managers require disinfectants have a green certification.

Also new from EcoLogo is a program of reduced scrutiny for cleaning formulations made with ingredients listed on the CleanGredients™ database maintained by the EPA and the Green-Blue Institute. The change means products that use ingredients in the database are not re-tested before certification.