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Green Building News

UL Environment Begins Validating Eco-marketing Claims

A subsidiary of Underwriters Laboratories has begun validating environmental claims used for marketing building products and personal electronics

Drywall with a new eco-label The sustainable-product marketing claims for EcoRock drywall are the first to be validated by UL Environment, which will focus its validation tests on products submitted by manufacturers of building products and companies that make personal electronics.
Image Credit: Serious Materials

UL Environment has its work cut out for it. The Underwriters Laboratory subsidiary, established to validate the environmental claims that manufacturers use to market their goods, recently announced the first validation in a progression that could easily continue indefinitely.

EcoRock – a drywall that its maker, Serious Materials, says is made from 80% recycled content, produces low VOC emissions, and is mercury free and mold resistant – landed UL Environment’s first eco-label.

UL Environment will focus on only two product categories, building products and personal electronics. But both categories are huge, so even if only a relatively small percentage of the products in each are touted as having sustainable features and are submitted for testing, UL Environment could be pretty busy.

The company says it will use Federal Trade Commission guidelines to help determine whether a product under testing measures up to environmental marketing claims made by its manufacturer. Eventually, UL Environment told Sustainable Industries magazine, it could add sustainability standards certification to its services as production and performance data accumulate and manufacturer standards evolve.

The sooner certification standards evolve, the sooner, too, builders and consumers will begin looking for certification labels they’ve learned to trust.

“There is a very confusing market space because there isn’t a clear leader to define what a sustainable product is,” Chris Nelson, UL Environment’s director of global commercial development, told Sustainable Industries. “Some companies we work with are going through five certifications because they don’t know what will resonate.”

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