Ecolabels set minimum environmental and health standards for specific product categories. Eco-labeling relates to environmental protection factors, such noise, water, and energy used in production, use, and disposal. Eco-labels allow businesses to label their products and services as being environmentally sound and help businesses to:
- Demonstrate their products meet pre-determined green performance criteria and standards
- Differentiate their products or services from competitors’ products and services
- Inform green consumers and aid in their decision-making on green products
- Aid in purchasing decisions for businesses that want green products and services
In the Spring 2010 community essay “Toward greater ecological intelligence in the United States: ten statements with statistics and commentary regarding ecolabels,” author Christopher Wedding suggests the importance and benefit of eco-labels. Specifically:
- 83% of Americans reported that sustainability commitments were “very important” or “somewhat important” in their buying decisions
- Experts believe 70% of American consumers could be motivated to purchase green products if labels were clear and product prices were competitive
- 76% of the largest firms in the U.S. reported sustainability efforts and commitments that exceed what is required by law
- By 2030, 50% of buildings in the U.S. will have been built after the year 2000
- 98% of 2,219 products reviewed were guilty of greenwashing (deceptive green marketing)
Wedding’s conjecture is that eco-labels…
…can harness some of the most powerful forces in the United States — consumer, business, and institutional spending — to serve as a force for good rather than continuing to facilitate overconsumption and waste.
For specific information about U.S. domestic eco-labels that may apply to your small business, the Small Business Administration offers this list.