Frequently Asked Questions
What environmental service programs does UL Environment offer?
Currently, UL Environment offers several environmental services for environmentally preferable product manufacturers as well as consulting and training.
Environmental Claims Validation®. This service provides validation of environmental product claims by means of independent testing and assessments.
Environmental Product Declarations. This service verifies compliance with ISO 14024 and creates a document that synthesizes life cycle assessment data into a comprehensive package. As a program operator, UL Environment also helps develop Product Category Rules (PCRs).
Indoor Air Quality Certification and Testing. This service evaluates the level of emissions dispersed from a product. Products meeting certain levels qualify for the GREENGUARD Environmental Institute Certification Programs.
Sustainable Product Certification®. This service evaluates whether products meet environmentally sustainable product standards, which typically measure a products' performance throughout its entire life, from sourcing through disposal.
Organizational Sustainability Measurement, the Sustainability Quotient (SQ) program. This service helps evaluate organizational progress towards a more sustainable business model.
Training. A variety of training courses will be developed and offered through UL Environment. Example courses will cover topics such as defining green products, greenwashing, and the benefits of third-party certification.
Why has UL created this new company?
As demand for environmentally sustainable products has grown, so has the need to have manufacturers' environmental claims validated and, when possible, certified to sustainability product standards. UL Environment was launched in response to this need. Learn more.
* Accountability and Consumers International. What Assures Consumers on Climate Change? (2007)
What is the difference between Environmental Claims Validation (ECV) and Sustainable Product Certification (SPC)?
UL Environment's Environmental Claims Validation service covers a wide range of environmental claims made by manufacturers related to product attributes, such as energy efficiency, recycled content and volatile organic compound emissions and content, to name a few. Products with validated claims will be included in our Database of Validated and Certified Products and may carry the Environmental Claims Validated logo on their marketing materials and packaging.
The Sustainable Product Certification service will certify products, processes or materials to industry-accepted environmental standards, such as ones being developed by UL Environment and industry groups. When their products are certified, manufacturers will be able to use the Sustainable Product Certification Mark per terms of the standard of reference.
What environmental marketing claims can the claims validation service validate?
Here's a partial (and growing) list:
- Recycled content
- Rapidly renewable materials
- Regional materials
- Volatile organic compound (VOC) emissions
- Volatile organic compound (VOC) content
- Energy efficiency
- Water efficiency
- Hazardous or toxic substances
- "Absence of" claims
- Reclamation programs
- Mold resistance
- Manufacturing energy audits
What is the database of UL Environment Validated and Certified Products?
A critical component of UL Environment is the Database of Validated and Certified Products. This online tool, designed for both industry professionals as well as consumers, allows users to quickly sort and identify products by product category, company name, product name or type of claim.
To be included in this database, a product must have been validated through Environmental Claims Validation or certified through Sustainable Product Certification. With significant planned industry outreach and the strength of the UL brand, we believe that the Database of UL Environment Validated and Certified Products will quickly become a critical resource for the green building industry.
What is the organizational sustainability program and why are you creating corporate-level sustainability standards?
UL's mission is to work for a safer world, and we believe that sustainability is a global safety issue. In the course of validating product-level environmental claims and developing multi-attribute product level sustainability standards, UL Environment considered the question: "Can an unsustainable business create sustainable products and vice versa?" Our answer is no, but we also realize that responses to the question of "what does a sustainable company look like" varies depending on who you ask. Our work on corporate-level sustainability standards - with scientists, sustainability practitioners and thought leaders in the field of sustainability - is an effort to clarify the vision of a sustainability company while helping companies tell their sustainability story now. UL is also helping companies meet stakeholder skepticism that all sustainability claims are "greenwashing" by clarifying what we mean by the term and by bringing trusted third-party auditing of corporate-level claims to the market.
What is ULE 880? Is it the same or different from ULE ISR 880?
ULE 880: Sustainability for Manufacturing Organizations is an organizational sustainability standard that is being developed jointly by UL Environment and GreenBiz Group, a leading source for news, best practices and research related to the greening of mainstream business. The ISR - Interim Sustainability Requirements - are the interim requirements that will be used in the pilot in anticipation of finalizing and publishing the standard later in 2011.
When did GREENGUARD join UL?
In January of 2011 the GREENGUARD Environmental Institute and Air Quality Sciences became part of the UL family of companies.
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When did TerraChoice join UL?
In August of 2010, TerraChoice, the sustainability consulting and marketing organization which manages the Canadian EcoLogo Program, became part of the UL Global Family of Companies. It is an affiliate to UL Environment.
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