Eco-labels are provided by a wide variety of organizations with the intent of certifying labels that are genuinely green. A good label can be a means of preventing "green washing" and making sure your community is getting the greenest possible product. But it is not always easy to find, evaluate and use eco-labels. The KCRPC is promoting green purchasing and one way is to provide information on eco-labels and how to use them.
The validity of eco-labels can be evaluated by looking at who the sponsoring group is, what is their process for setting up standards, and how do they apply those standards. KCRPC is beginning to evaluate eco-labels and present the results on this website. The initial five eco-labels that have been evaluated are presented here:
- Energy Star
- Green Seal
- Forest Stewardship Council (FSC)
- EPEAT (Electronic Product Environmental Assessment Tool)
KCRPC will continue to add evaluations to this list. If you have an eco-label that you find useful please forward it to Georgia Nesselrode for inclusion on the website.
There are several ways that local governments can use eco-labels to assist in their green purchasing efforts.
- A valid eco-label program should be transparent in their activities and standards and should make their product standards readily available. A local government can incorporate these standards, in whole or in part, in their bid specifications. Some of the standards provide sample contract language to do this.
- A local government, as a part of their bid specs, can require that products be certified by one or more eco-label organizations.
- Rather than requiring an eco-label such a label can be a part of the evaluation standards.