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Green Good Housekeeping Seal of Approval

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Evaluation Tool

Green Good Housekeeping Seal of Approval

Tool Category

Standards, Certifications & Labels

At a Glance

The Green Good Housekeeping Seal of Approval is a multi-attribute consumer-focused tool that is still in its infancy. The goals of the tool are to provide consumers with a guide to environmentally sound products that perform well and to encourage manufacturers to incorporate more green practices into their production and distribution. Retailers should note that criteria have only been developed for cleaning and beauty products, paints and coatings, and food and beverages to date.

Tool Website(s)

Tool Owner/Sponsor

Hearst Communications, Inc.

Type of Entity

For profit

Focus of Evaluation

Substances, products

Product Stage of Life Evaluated

Manufacturing, transportation, consumer use, end of life

Impact(s) Evaluated

Air emissions, ecological health, energy use, GHG's, human health, material impacts, ozone depletion, social responsibility, water use, worker safety and health. See criteria for paints & coatings:

Tool Description

To qualify for the Green Good Housekeeping Seal a product must first earn the Good Housekeeping Seal of Approval which is based on product performance and confers a 2-year limited warranty on products. The Good Housekeeping Research Institute will than evaluate a product for its environmental impact as well as the overall company environmental and social performance. Each product category under the Green Good Housekeeping Seal of Approval has a list of harmful ingredients and ozone depleting compounds excluded above a certain threshold. The product is then awarded a certain number of points according to its environmental impact. Out of a total of 100, products must score at least 65 points to be considered for the Green Good Housekeeping Seal. Other product categories are currently being developed including building products, home appliances, consumer electronics, textiles, and children's products.

Product Categories

Cleaning & Janitorial Products (Residential & Commercial/Industrial); Food & Beverage; Health & Beauty, Cosmetics, Pharmacy; Paints & Coatings

Tool Requirements

Manufacturers must provide MSDSs, lab testing results, proof of reduction in manufacturing, energy use, water use and waste produced, and proof of sources of materials used including a packaging review. For more information about the review criteria for cleaning and beauty products:; for paints and coatings: ; for food and beverages:

Cost of Tool

Companies that receive the Green Good Housekeeping Seal of Approval are required to pay for a certain amount of advertising in the Good Housekeeping magazine but there are no fees for manufacturers to have their products reviewed.

Evaluation Frequency

Review of the seal of approval is required annually.

Strengths and Weaknesses

Strengths: There is no cost to have a product evaluated. The Green Housekeeping Seal of Approval has strong public acceptance and offers consumers a limited two-year warranty. The Green Good Housekeeping Seal of Approval will offer the same warranty.

Weaknesses: A very small number of products have been reviewed so far, so it is not yet a well known and recognized seal of approval. Its current usefulness to retailers may therefore be limited.

For More Information

Stacy Genovese:

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