Expanding the Impact of our Environmental Innovation Program
5/4/2021 | Anne Hancock
Green Seal has finalized key updates to our Environmental Innovation Standard to expand the program’s ability to promote market transformation and ensure measurable health and environmental impact reductions.
About Environmental Innovation
Green Seal’s Environmental Innovation Standard (GS-20) is designed for manufacturers striving to advance product innovation for environmental good. The Environmental Innovation program allows manufacturers pioneering the integration of leading-edge design and performance aspects into their products to earn recognition for their innovations through a rigorous third-party certification.
Earning certification under this standard demonstrates that a product’s innovation significantly reduces health or environmental impacts compared to products of the same functional class.
The updated Environmental Innovation Standard expands certification eligibility to products that have not yet earned certification under an applicable Green Seal product category standard – provided the product innovation reduces impacts above the applicable standard and is the first innovation of its kind in the North American market. This approach is designed to encourage advances in industry research that could inform revisions to our product category standards.
The Environmental Innovation Standard updates also expand opportunities for earning certification to products that employ innovations that were new to the market at product launch, even if others later also employed the same innovation. This eliminates the requirement that a product is the only one in the market with the innovation at the time of certification, and rewards producers who are the first to raise the bar for environmental innovation in their product categories, even if others followed. This also provides greater value to existing participants by opening the door to longer certification terms.
Green Seal now requires all applicants to quantify the health and/or environmental impact reductions of their product innovations, including those that achieve impact reductions through improved functional performance.
Previously, product innovations that achieved impact reductions through improved functional performance demonstrated this through a quantification of the performance improvement, not the health and/or environmental impact reduction.
Requiring that applicants quantify the environmental and human health impact reductions associated with improved functional performance ensures manufacturers will identify the meaningful health and environmental improvements achieved by the innovation in order to earn market recognition for them.