Why We Pursued a Green Seal® Certification
Published on: 7/9/2019
By: Guest Blogger, Nate Clemmer
When Branch Creek began developing a chloride-free ice melt a few years ago, I knew we were entering a figurative lion’s den. An unregulated North American ice melt market awash in inflated environmental claims and blatant greenwashing. Even if research and development panned out as hoped, our as-yet-unknown de-icer might not endure among louder, win-at-all-costs products and brands.
At times, this down-the-road marketing hurdle felt more daunting than research and development itself: How would we differentiate ourselves in a standards-free space? The prospect of investing in a worthy product, only to have it get lost in a whirlwind of dishonesty, almost kept us from moving forward. The unchecked marketing claims in the ice melt market are particularly troublesome given the number of ice melts that claim to be high performance, pet safe, and/or environmentally sound without any independent verification. Consumers depend on these assurances. Much is at stake and much can be lost when they don’t deliver. People understandably have differing opinions about government regulation, but as a well-intentioned brand in an unregulated market, I crave the accountability that regulation provides.
Not only do standards protect consumers; they help create blueprints for manufacturers like us who want to know if their product delivers - and who want validation and a flag to fly when it does.
Once we developed Entry®, we began looking for a certification body that wouldn’t simply verify Entry’s environmental responsibility, but that would demand equal or better product performance and provide a standards framework for future products in this space. Some certifications look at improved environmental safety but not performance. We wanted both and Green Seal® delivers.
Ultimately, we pursued a Green Seal certification for Entry® chloride-free ice melt. Green Seal’s criteria, designed to protect our planet and health, emphasize performance. It’s widely said – and I agree – that a product shouldn’t qualify as “green” if it doesn’t work as well as, or better than, other commercially available alternatives. After all, if a product’s better for the environment but doesn’t perform, have we really made progress or solved anything?
And because Green Seal uses verifiable research and sound practices to determine the benchmark products should meet, this benchmark becomes the market’s standard. Verification of these two measurements – environmental integrity and efficacy – lets Entry® not only enter the market with a reputable ally behind it, but also lets us introduce structure and accountability to the larger ice melt scene. If another product wants to make environmental or performance-related claims, we encourage them to pursue a similar certification. If they don’t, we can point to Entry®’s Green Seal certification, and what it stands for, instead of engaging in evidence-free debates about a product’s environmental and performance claims.
Even with a Green Seal certification, Entry® chloride-free ice melt will face challenges. But carrying a highly regarded certification in a space that’s never had any standardization is, I think, a major step in the right direction - for our product and for us all.
Read about Entry’s Green Seal certification here.
Learn about Green Seal’s Environmental Innovation Program here.
by Nate Clemmer, CEO of Synatek Solutions, the parent company of Branch Creek, Secure Winter Products, Ecotronics, SynaTek Reach and PW Logistics