Companies now have another incentive to green up their means of production. Robert Lilienfeld, an expert on source reduction and editor of The ULS Report, will launch a Sustainable Products Certification program for products and packages. Beginning on April 22, companies will be able to earn the “Use Less Stuff” certification.
The program’s ultimate goal is to inform consumers about the products they purchase and help them make informed decisions when shopping for everyday products.
In order to receive the certification and bear the ULS logo, companies must meet the requirements of 20 percent reduction in packaging, 20 percent reduction in energy consumption or a 20 percent increase in efficiency. These numbers are in comparison to the previous product or an industry-standard product. Companies must also meet the Federal Trade Commission’s Green Guides for environmental marketing standards.
The ULS certification will be based on Life Cycle Inventory (LCI) data. Lilienfeld and his advisory board of five scientists will then review the information to determine if the company meets these standards on both paper and in the real world.
So far, three consumer products have been ULS certified. Park City Ice Water Company’s Perfect Glacier IceWater, Winston Company’s Doctor Drain septic tank treatment and Safonique’s laundry detergent have proven waste reduction levels between 47 percent and 78 percent for their products. These products contain no artificial ingredients, and two are concentrated, delivering more functionality with less material, waste and energy.
In an interview with Packaging World, Lilienfeld explains that the logo program is “designed to address some of the realities of sustainable product and package design that retailers, brand owners, and consumers still struggle to understand. The first concept is that sustainability is a journey, not an absolute.”
According to Lilienfeld, “What you want is for people to continually try and get better.”