ONTARIO, CANADA—The EcoLogo Program, formerly known as the Environmental Choice Program, has instituted a new Fraud Advisory service to help purchasers—government, business, as well as consumers—make sure the products they select are indeed green.
The advisory, which has been added to the organization’s Web site, www.ecologo.org, will list manufacturers and products falsely claiming product certification and bearing the organization’s EcoLogo label. The EcoLogo is one of North America’s most widely recognized environmental certification labels.
“This is an important step not only to protect consumers and the EcoLogo but to protect the green movement,” says Scott McDougall, president and c.e.o. of the EcoLogo Program. “Certification helped spur the evolution to green products because buyers learned to trust the designation and know it means products have passed rigorous tests and evaluations in order to be certified.”
Preventing a Repeat of History
“When the green movement first started about 35 years ago, some manufacturers ‘self-declared’ their products to be green with little or no evidence to back it up,” McDougall says. “Many did so through genuine ignorance, while others did it to take advantage of a hot new trend.”
The result was a lot of confusion for consumers. When some products were later found not to be environmentally preferable, buyers lost trust in the green movement—one reason McDougall believes it was essentially dormant for many years.
“It is important that we not repeat the mistakes of the past,” he says. “Virtually every industry from automobiles and industrial products to janitorial and office furniture is now seeking green certification. For this to continue—and grow—consumers must know they can trust the EcoLogo label.”