If ever there was a need for expert, science-based information on cleaning for health it was during this past year. As a global pandemic threatened our health, wellbeing and our very lives, Green Seal’s role as a trusted authority on safer and more sustainable products thrust us into the spotlight.
At Green Seal, our number-one goal is to enable businesses and consumers to make healthier, greener choices with confidence — especially when it comes to the products and services they use to clean and care for their spaces. This past year, more than perhaps any other in our history, Green Seal has been a leading voice in the public conversation about keeping our buildings, homes and schools safe and healthy.
Green Seal’s comprehensive guidelines on safer cleaning amid COVID-19 filled an urgent public health gap in guidance for disinfecting without doing harm. These guidelines are now being used to protect people in more than 1 billion square feet of school and office space, demonstrating the hunger for sound information on cleaning for health. The guidelines, along with new certification criteria for verified-safe hand sanitizers, gave businesses and facilities leaders actionable resources for protecting people from a deadly virus without exposing them to health risks from toxic chemicals.
We’ve leaned into our role as a resource for consumers looking for proven-effective, proven-greener products. We were proud to launch partnerships that are broadening Green Seal’s reach and getting safer, greener products into more hands – including a high-impact initiative with Amazon through its Climate Pledge Friendly program.
This year, as in every year of our history, we have continued to follow science to help policy makers, businesses, and consumers use healthier products and create spaces where people can thrive.
We sincerely want to thank the 321 certified product manufacturers and service providers who have put their trust in us and are transparently demonstrating that their offerings meet Green Seal’s rigorous standards. In particular, we extend a special welcome to the 36 new participating companies who have signed up to pursue Green Seal certification in the past year. We also want to thank our wonderful staff for their commitment through what has proved to be a challenging year. Despite the pandemic, our dedicated team didn’t miss a step. Finally, we want to thank our colleagues on the Board of Directors for their leadership, insights and perspectives and unwavering support of our team and our mission.
Raising the Bar
Green Seal’s science-based standards define sustainability leadership in the marketplace and reward industry innovations. Our strict criteria for safer chemicals, uncompromising performance and lifecycle sustainability mean that only the healthiest, most responsible and most effective products and services can earn the Green Seal. Over the past year, we launched new and updated standards to ensure certified products stay at the forefront of the market when it comes to health and sustainability.
Amid surging hand sanitizer use and FDA warnings about hundreds of toxic products, Green Seal worked with public health and industry experts to design a standard that gives buyers a simple way to identify hand sanitizers that meet the highest bar for health, safety and performance.Learn More
Paints and Coatings
Green Seal’s globally recognized paint standard remains the sole one to restrict carcinogens, reproductive toxins, alkylphenol ethoxylate and a host of other harmful chemicals. This year, we added requirements for VOC chamber testing to align our standard with the latest LEED® green building criteria, providing a simple choice for health-focused buyers.Learn More
Leading During Crisis
The COVID-19 pandemic raised urgent, national questions about what it means to clean for health. As a leading authority, Green Seal responded with rapid public guidance, including a viral blog on how to identify disinfectants with safer active ingredients. We followed up with comprehensive Disinfecting Guidelines for Schools and Workplaces – now being used in more than 1 billion square feet of building space – to give facilities leaders an actionable resource for protecting people without exposing them to health risks from hazardous chemicals. In tandem, our new hand sanitizer standard filled a critical market gap by providing independent verification of safe, effective hand sanitizers amid surging use and an influx of toxic products.
- February 3, 2020 US declares public health emergency
- March 11, 2020 WHO declares COVID-19 a pandemic
- March 13, 2020 Green Seal goes all-virtual
- March 20, 2020 FDA issues emergency authorization allowing hand sanitizer manufacturers to enter the market without comprehensive review
- June 19, 2020 FDA begins warning of dangerous ingredients in some hand sanitizers
- June 24, 2020 Green Seal publishes Safer COVID-19 Disinfecting Guidelines for Workplaces
- July 30, 2020 Green Seal proposes a new leadership standard for hand sanitizers
- August 3, 2020 Green Seal partners with SEIU on COVID-19 worker training
- August 3, 2020 Green Seal publishes Safer COVID-19 Disinfecting Guidelines for Schools
- August 3, 2020 FDA adds more than 100 hand sanitizers to a list of products to avoid due to unsafe contaminants
- August 11, 2020 Green Seal highlights hazardous cleaning trends in schools and offices
- October 6, 2020 FDA's list of un-safe hand sanitizers grows to more than 200
- March 4, 2021 Green Seal announces first certified hand sanitizers
- April 5, 2021 CDC updates guidance on disinfecting, reflecting the guidance in Green Seal's Disinfecting Guidelines
Power in Partnership
As the COVID-19 pandemic threatened to reverse positive trends toward greener cleaning, Green Seal doubled down on key partnerships to expand consumers’ access to verified sustainability information – and get safer, greener products into more hands. Among the most impactful: You can now find Green Seal-certified products marked as “Climate Pledge Friendly” on Amazon, combining Green Seal’s trusted expertise with the online retail giant’s unparalleled reach to foster informed consumption.
Green Seal partnered with the nation’s largest union of property service workers on a comprehensive COVID-19 training course for tens of thousands of frontline custodians.
Amazon/Climate Pledge Friendly
Green Seal certified products automatically earn Amazon’s new Climate Pledge Friendly badge, signifying to consumers that the products meet meaningful sustainability standards.
Green Seal worked with the General Services Administration and ecomedes to make Green Seal certified products easy for project managers to match to federal purchasing guidelines.
Healthy Schools Campaign
Green Seal and pioneering nonprofit Healthy Schools Campaign are creating Healthy Green Schools & Colleges, a verifiable program for sustainable school facilities management.
Whole Foods Market
Green Seal helped Whole Foods Market execute its cleaning products standards program, independently evaluating household cleaners against the supermarket chain’s criteria for environmental impact, safety, ingredient labeling, and efficacy testing.
federal, state and local
specify Green Seal
Countries Producing Green Seal-Certified Products
A Seal Buyers Trust
30 years ago, Green Seal pioneered ecolabeling in the United States with a consumer-friendly seal that helps buyers make safer, greener choices with confidence. Today, our seal is a universal symbol that a product, service or space is independently verified to meet the highest standard of health and environmental leadership. Here’s what the Green Seal means.
Green Seal-certified cleaning products must demonstrate uncompromising performance while using ingredients that are significantly safer for people and the planet. They’re screened for VOCs, carcinogens, reproductive toxins, mutagens, phthalates, endocrine disruptors, skin sensitizers and a host of other harmful ingredients – and must use environmentally preferable packaging materials.197 Millionpounds of plastic saved byconcentrated professionalcleaning products in 2020
From chloride-free ice melt to floor pads made from recycled water bottles, Innovation Certified products are delivering breakthroughs in the performance, health or environmental safety of products and re-defining what it means to be sustainable in their product categories.30% lower
environmental or human
health impact compared
to competing products
Green Seal-certified sanitary paper never uses virgin fiber. Products are made with 100% recycled material and meet stringent requirements for reducing carbon emissions, using less water and energy and chlorine-free processing.3.8 Million
metric tons of CO2
emissions saved each year
Commercial Cleaning Programs
Green Seal’s certified cleaning providers set the benchmark for excellence in cleaning effectiveness, using highly trained teams and verified products and practices to improve indoor air quality and protect health during a year when proper cleaning has never mattered more.1 Billionsq. ft of building space cleaned daily
Only the safest, most responsible and most effective products and services achieve the Green Seal. Companies undergo a comprehensive review of everything from their formulas to manufacturing practices to ensure they meet our science-based standard criteria. Here’s how our partners are making an impact.
Thank you to Green Seal’s Board of Directors for their support, guidance and expertise. Learn about the members of our Board of Directors and our staff here.
Special thanks to Diversey and Ecolab for contributing data and expertise to the development of Green Seal’s plastics saving metric.