As a child, I remember being diligent about searching for the Underwriters Laboratories (UL) label on all of our household electronics. I don’t remember why I did this but I examined everything that my parents bought. The company has been in the product safety industry for more than a century and recently it joined the “go green” movement with the launch of a new sustainability-focused company, UL Environment.
As more green products became available and concerns about greenwashing mounted, UL saw a need for independent certification for sustainable products. “UL Environment helps support the growth and development of sustainable products, services and organizations in the global marketplace through standards development, educational services, and independent third party assessment and certification.” Source: UL Environment
UL Environment maintains a database of validated and certified products that is searchable by the public. In addition to electronics, the database will also include a comprehensive listing of building and construction products, flooring, furniture, paints, textiles, and much more.
UL Environment was just launched earlier this year and its first validated product was added to the database in June. Although the database is just in its infancy stage, UL Environment is working to populate all of the categories with green validated products.
Yesterday, UL Environment announced that the company’s certified products will help projects achieve the NAHB Research Center “Green Approved” product seal.
“The NAHB Research Center has developed the “Green Approved” program to help builders and designers identify green building products and materials that contribute points toward certification of a building under the National Green Building Standard™.” [via UL Environment press release]
Although the National Green Building Standard is specific to residential green buildings, the products that appear in the UL Environment database can be used for commercial green building projects. It also a useful tool for business owners that want to purchase more environmentally friendly products for their office; the database is just one more layer of prevention against greenwashing.