In recent years, “green” has become a household term, used to describe a wide array of products and processes. But how do we know if something is truly environmentally friendly or sustainable?
Image from BuildingGreen.com
Various industries and companies have applied labels and certifications as a possible solution to inform consumer decisions.
Wood, cotton, appliances, buildings, and restaurants are just a few of the areas with their own labels or rating schemes. The website, EcoLabel Index, currently tracks over 400 labels and certifications around the world! But just because certain products or locations have a label or certification, what does that really mean? How do we avoid greenwashing?
Here are some things to consider:
How do you define “green”? Green is a color between blue and yellow. To be sustainable, you must balance the three responsibilities within your business model.
Do your research! Look into the ingredients on the label, the metrics used for certifications, and the background of the certification agency. Websites like the GoodGuide can be an excellent resource.
While many green labels and certifications have faced criticism, it is undeniable that they have motivated demand for sustainable solutions, and consumers are becoming more educated about the products they use. This has increased the competition among various industries, ultimately raising the bar for the best in the class.
Tell us what you think – which labels or certifications do you find reliable and why?