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UL Buys Its Way into Indoor Air Certification

Standard-setter UL Environment is to acquire Air Quality Sciences (AQS) and its certifying body, the Greenguard Environmental Institute.

UL describes AQS and Greenguard as the North American market leaders for product emissions testing and third-party indoor air quality certification.

UL Environment said the acquisition “further positions UL Environment as a global leader in environmental evaluation and certification”.

“This acquisition combines AQS’s world-class technology and expertise, as well as Greenguard’s brand recognition and scientific rigor, with UL’s trusted history of standards development, testing, and compliance to create a more comprehensive solution for testing and certification,” said UL Environment president Steve Wenc. “Together, we’ll help consumers, regulators, and other interested parties make informed product purchases by providing clarity around indoor air quality claims.”

Atlanta-based AQS began in 1989, and has tested more than 70,000 products for chemical emissions. It has detected more than 12,000 product specific chemicals that can pollute the indoor air.

The Greenguard Environmental Institute was founded in 2001, and certifies building products and materials for low chemical emissions through its Indoor Air Quality Certification and Children & Schools Certification. More than 350 manufacturers worldwide participate in Greenguard. They represent 19 industries and over 10,000 products, the company said.

UL, which stands for Underwriters Laboratories, entered the environmental management field in 2009 with the launch of UL Environment, its environmental services business unit.

Last year UL acquired the green marketing consulting firm TerraChoice, which manages the Canadian EcoLogo product certification program, GreenBiz reports.

Last month UL Environment launched an Environmental Product Declaration program, to evaluate products’ lifecycle performance in accordance with ISO 14025 standards.

UL Environment is also working on a company-wide sustainability standard with Greener World Media.

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