CRI Withdraws Support for Green Seal

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Citing shortcomings in the process used to develop the well-known environmental standard, the Carpet and Rug Institute has announced it will no longer recognize Green Seal‘s GS-37 Standard as a Green Certification for its Seal of Approval Carpet Cleaning Solutions. According to CRI, Green Seal failed to follow its own written guidelines for consensus standard setting, specifically in the areas of stakeholder input and risk assessment.

“GS 37 is flawed and CRI cannot support it,” said CRI president Werner Braun.

Prior to its decision, CRI had accepted GS 37 as a component for its Seal of Approval Green designation, which identifies spot cleaners, pre-sprays, and in-tank cleaning solutions that are environmentally responsible as well as effective. CRI continues to recognize the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency’s Design for the Environment (DfE) certification, as well as the Canadian government’s EcoLogo and EnviroDesic certifications. Products that were certified under a previous version of GS 37 will retain their SOA Green designations, Braun said.

CRI’s concerns:

  • GS 37 measures product efficacy against a “nationally recognized” product rather than against an approved standard.
  • GreenSeal did not allow the participation of all stakeholders in the development process for GS 37
  • GS 37 arbitrarily bans chemicals according to a list, without regard for proper risk assessment—a practice which runs contrary to accepted scientific practices.
  • At various points, it seemed that peer reviewed scientific data was discounted in favor of preconceived bias on the part of the standard developers.
  • GS 37 was released without a second ratifying ballot, even after a first ballot failed to achieve a majority.

Noting that Green Seal is accredited by the American National Standards Institute (ANSI) as a standard setting body, Braun said he would expect the company to follow the ANSI process of standard development. He added that CRI would reconsider its decision if Green Seal were to “reopen the GS 37 standard and develop it in an environment that respects the consensus standard-setting process.”

To request a PDF of GS 37, send an e-mail to [email protected] with the words “Green Seal Standard” in the subject line.

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