The U. S. Environmental Protection Agency introduced this week the “Safer Choice” label, indicating that Safer Choice helps consumers, businesses, and purchasers find products that perform well and are safer for human health and the environment.
We had blogged last year that EPA’s Office of Inspector General had released a report on an evaluation of the EPA’s “Design for the Environment” (DfE) Program – its previous “green” logo/label. At A Glance, No. 14-P-0349 (September 9, 2014). The Inspector General found flaws in the DfE logo, including that it improperly implied an EPA endorsement.
EPA, it claims, spent more than a year collecting ideas and discussing new label options with stakeholders, such as product manufacturers and environmental and health advocates, with the result being its new Safer Choice label.
Administrator Gina McCarthy, in her blog on the topic, states that “[o]ur scientists employ a stringent set of human health and environmental safety standards when reviewing products for the Safer Choice program, so a product with the label is backed by EPA science. Consumers know it’s a credible stamp they can trust.”
According to the Agency, more than 2,000 products are currently qualified to carry the Safer Choice label. Safer Choice products, the Agency notes, are available for the home at retail stores, and for use in businesses, schools, hotels, offices, and sports venues.
The EPA’s website has been updated to provide “Safer Choice partners and product manufacturers” information in order to qualify and apply for the Safer Choice label. To carry the label, a product must meet the Safer Choice Standard, which includes:
- Criteria for Safer Chemical Ingredients; and
- Requirements for performance, packaging, pH, and VOCs.
To manufactures this Safer Choice label may represent an opportunity to present your products in new and valuable — Green — ways. Applicants, though, are cautioned to first investigate the likelihood for Safer Choice listing, and any potential downside or liabilities that might be raised in making the “Green” claims.