Wholefoods has recently introduced its new Eco-Scale rating system, a color-coded system under which products will be rated, red, orange, yellow or green based on the sp
ecific set of environmental and sourcing standards each product meets.
The company said it is committed to working with vendors to evaluate and independently audit every product in its cleaning category. Red-rated products do not meet the Eco-Scale standards and will not be sold at Whole Foods Market.
Naturally, the green color code is the highest possible rating, ensuring that products have all of these features:
- ✓ Full transparency, disclosure of ingredients on packaging by April 2012
- ✓ Independent 3rd party verified compliance to standards
- ✓ No ingredients with significant environmental or safety concerns
- ✓ No formaldehyde-donors, preservatives which have the potential to release formaldehyde
- ✓ No phosphates, chlorine, or synthetic colors
- ✓ No animal testing
- ✓ 100% natural fragrances
- ✓ No ingredients with moderate environmental or safety concerns
- ✓ No DEA, MEA or TEA—surfactants that have the potential to contain nitrosamines and other impurities
- ✓ No synthetic, petroleum-derived thickeners made from nonrenewable sources
- ✓ Only 100% natural ingredients
- ✓ No petroleum- derived ingredients
Under current law, manufacturers do not have to disclose all ingredients in cleaning products. Under the Eco-Scale Rating System, Whole Foods Market’s household cleaning vendors will be required to list every ingredient on product packaging. To ensure compliance of the standards, all products will be audited through an independent third-party for verification before they are color-rated and labeled on shelves.
“Shoppers have a right to know what’s actually in the products they use to clean their homes,” said Jim Speirs, global vice president of procurement for Whole Foods Market. “We’ve always carefully monitored ingredients. Now, with Eco-Scale, we’re able to help shoppers buy eco-friendly products with confidence and provide safer alternatives for their households and for the planet as a whole.”
What is striking in fact is that almost three out of four (73 percent) adults falsely believe that the U.S. government requires household cleaning products to provide a list of ingredients on the label, according to an online survey commissioned by Whole Foods and conducted by Harris Interactive in April among 2,483 U.S. adults aged 18 and older. Another two-thirds (64 percent) believe that many household cleaning brands opt to disclose the full list of ingredients on packaging, when in fact few provide this information on product labels. (Source: GreenRetail decisions, Wholefoods)