FAQs

About Green Seal

What is Green Seal?

Green Seal® is a global nonprofit organization and leading ecolabel. For more than 30 years, Green Seal’s rigorous standards for health, sustainability and product performance have driven permanent shifts in the marketplace, empowering better purchasing decisions and rewarding industry innovators. Green Seal’s flagship certification program and our other initiatives are designed to. accelerate the market adoption of safer and more sustainable products and practices for cleaning and facility care.

What is Green Seal’s mission?

Our mission is to transform the economy for a healthier, greener world. Our vision is a healthy society in balance with nature.

What is Green Seal certification?

Green Seal certification is a process that ensures that a product or service meets the rigorous performance, health, and environmental criteria in Green Seal’s environmental leadership standards. Green Seal’s scientists and experts comprehensively validate that a product or services meets our science-based standards before awarding certification. Green Seal certification validates a company’s sustainability leadership and helps purchasers and consumers make healthier, greener choices with confidence.

Why is Green Seal certification trustworthy?

Green Seal’s standards are developed based on science through an open, transparent process that prioritizes public and stakeholder input. Our reputation for rigor and credibility makes Green Seal one of the most trusted ecolabels worldwide. More than 100 federal, state and local purchasing policies specify Green Seal, and more than 33,000 products meet our meet our standards for uncompromising performance, safety and health.

How is Green Seal funded?

Green Seal is a non-profit 50(c)(3) organization. We are funded from sources including grants, contracts, certification fees and special projects.

Where can I find Green Seal’s nonprofit tax form?

Green Seal’s most recent Form 990 is available here

Does Green Seal certify companies?

We do not certify entire companies. We certify individual products, services and spaces made or provided by companies. 

Where are your offices located?

Green Seal’s headquarters office is located in Washington, DC. 

Does Green Seal apply internationally?

Yes. Companies from all over the world have earned Green Seal certification for their products, and many U.S-based companies sell their Green Seal-certified products internationally.

Where does Green Seal get its authority to set standards and certify products and services?

Green Seal operates under the international guidelines for environmental labeling programs, ISO 14020 and 14024, set by the International Organization for Standardization. Green Seal follows the US Environmental Protection Agency’s (EPA) requirements for third-party certification. Green Seal is also a founding member of the Global Ecolabeling Network (GEN), and undergoes peer review via the GENICES process. Green Seal standards have been recognized and used by the US Federal Government, many State governments and other civic and environmental entities.

How can I get in contact with someone at Green Seal?

You may contact Green Seal by email or by phone at 202-872-6400. You can also find contact information on our Contact Us page.

Green Seal-Certified Products and Services

Where can I find a list of Green Seal-certified products and services?

All Green Seal-certified products and services can be found on our Certified Product and Services directory page.

What types of products and services do you certify?

Green Seal certifies a wide variety of cleaning and facility care products and services — from cleaning products, sanitary paper, and paints to cleaning services and hotel and lodging properties. You can view the full list on our Certified Product and Services directory page.

Are there any certified sanitizers or disinfectants?

Yes! Search the Certified Products and Services listings using the terms “sanitizer” or “disinfectant.”

Where can I purchase Green Seal-certified products?

Green Seal-certified products for household or consumer use can be found on manufacturer websites and in a variety of retail stores such as Home Depot, Whole Foods, Lowe’s, Office Depot and Staples. Many are also available on Amazon.com, where they are marked with Amazon’s Climate Pledge Friendly badge.  

Green Seal-certified products that are manufactured for commercial use rather than consumer use can be purchased from distributors, online retailers including Amazon, or directly from the manufacturer. You can view additional information about a specific product by searching on the Certified Products and Services directory page and clicking on the product name.

Certification Process

How do I apply for certification?

Visit our Certification page to fill out a Certification Interest Form.  Our Customer Success team will contact you within 2-3 business days. You can also contact us here.

What are the fees associated with certification?

A number of factors affect the certification fee, including the types and number of products or services on the application. Our Customer Success team is happy to provide you an estimate. Contact the team here or visit our Certification page to submit a certification interest form.

How long does the certification process take?

The certification review process for a full product generally takes between 3-5 months, once you submit all of the required documentation. Factors that help reduce the overall time include being prepared and familiar with the standard, providing complete information early in the process, and using the client portal and information templates.

What documentation do I need to submit for my product?

Specific requirements vary based on your product type, but in general, Green Seal reviews information related to your formula, performance testing, manufacturing, packaging, marketing materials, and labels.  For a detailed view of the process, see this certification project flowchart.

What if a standard does not exist for my product/service?

If you do not see a standard that fits your product or service, please contact us. We will be happy to discuss your needs.

Can we apply for certification for a product that is not yet being manufactured?

You can apply and work through part of the evaluation process, but some required information can be gathered only once the product is being manufactured/produced.

Do we have to meet all of the requirements in the standard or just a percentage, to be certified?

All of the requirements of the standard must be met. Green Seal standards are pass/fail. Your Certification Reviewer will work with you collaboratively until all of the requirements are met for certification.

What happens after I submit the Certification Interest Form?

A Green Seal Customer Success member will contact you within 2-3 business days.

How does Green Seal handle confidential information?

Green Seal takes confidentiality very seriously, and confidentiality protocols and agreements are an important piece of the certification process. Confidential information is never shared without the explicit agreement of the original party. We have been trusted with handling the confidential information of hundreds of companies, large and small, since our start in 1989.

How long does certification last?

Green Seal conducts periodic monitoring to ensure certified products continue to meet our high standards. Your product will remain certified as long as you remain in compliance with the latest version of our standards. Learn more about compliance monitoring here.

How do I appeal a Green Seal certification decision?

Applicants who believe they were inappropriately denied certification may appeal these certification decisions by following the Certification Appeals Process.

Green Seal Standards

Who decides what requirements go into the standards?

Our environmental scientists evaluate the major health and environmental impacts of a product category and develop initial draft criteria based on that evaluation. We then solicit input from a broad variety of stakeholders to help ensure relevance and feasibility and refine optimal achievement thresholds for the criteria. This input is incorporated into the final draft set of criteria, which is released for public comment for a minimum of 60 days. We hold as many rounds of public comment as necessary to overcome any sustained opposition to proposed criteria. Staff then finalize standard criteria using collected input.

Who are the stakeholders participating in the standard development process?

We invite manufacturers, raw material suppliers, distributors, retailers, product users, purchasers, regulators, researchers, trade groups, health and environmental groups, other NGOs, advocates and anyone else who may be affected by the products or their use.  Our process is open to the public and anyone who wants to participate is welcome!

How Does Green Seal Develop impact evaluations for certified products and Services?

When developing or revising standards, our environmental scientists evaluate the greatest health and environmental impacts that occur across all phases of the life cycle of the product or service using published research sources and stakeholder feedback. We then develop standard criteria so that certified products or services mitigate those impacts to the greatest extent possible. The intent is to develop criteria that are feasible but reflect environmental and health leadership compared to conventional products, practices, and spaces. For example, on a life cycle basis, the major impacts from the production of sanitary paper products include deforestation, the emission of greenhouse gases from production and disposal of virgin fibers, and pollution from chlorine compounds used in bleaching. Green Seal certification requires 100% recycled fiber content, as well as a chlorine-free bleaching process – and these attributes result in reductions of negative health and environmental impacts 

As a result of this process, Green Seal allows products to make pre-approved claims in conjunction with the Green Seal trademark that are supported by the scientific and stakeholder research performed during the life cycle evaluation phase of standard development. Green Seal reviews any other claims made in conjunction with Green Seal trademarks, and any claims determined to be misleading as to the extent or nature of Green Seal certification result in appropriate action, which may include termination of the product certification.

How often does Green Seal update the standards?

Green Seal re-visits each standard every three years or as needed. If we notice a significant change in the market, or if a stakeholder highlights a major shift in the market, and we see that shift being adopted by a significant minority (15-20% of the market), then we will announce a Standard Revision. 

If you have a question about our standards, please email us.