Green Seal, which certifies sustainable products and services, is accepting public comment on its proposed standard for environmental innovation.
The proposed standard is intended to guide the creation of innovative products and technologies, and provide a basis for an independent certification or verification.
The standard will be limited to commercially available products, services, technologies or processes that provide significant overall benefits for human and environmental health compared to mainstream alternatives, and that are not covered by existing Green Seal or other Type 1 ecolabel standards available in the US.
The proposed standard is based on a multi-attribute evaluation of environmental aspects across key life-cycle stages. It would provide the basis for two types of recognition. The first type would be Green Seal Certification for Environmental Innovation, granted to highly innovative initiatives. For the second type of recognition, Green Seal would use the framework defined by the standard to grant a validation of specific environmental and human health benefits to eligible initiatives.
Public comments on the proposed standard are being accepted until Nov. 7.
Innovation will be defined by a product or technology’s ability to provide an environmental benefit such as:
- Improved performance or increased environmental value achieved in a way unusual for the market category.
- Improved technical or environmental efficiency.
- An alternative to an existing practice that avoids, reduces or eliminates hazards to human health and environment, reduces use of limited resources or reduces or eliminates waste and pollution discharges.
- Conversion of waste materials into valuable resources.
- Technologies or processes combined in innovative ways in order to solve a problem without increasing environmental impacts.
In other ecolabel news, earlier this week the US Green Building Council released a report that found the number of LEED certified retail projects is on the rise. Between 2012 and 2013, green building investment jumped by $1 billion in the retail sector, and the percentage of retail owners involved in green building more than doubled, from 18 percent in 2011 to 38 percent in 2013, according to the Leed in Motion: Retail report.