Glossary

An easy way to find sustainable alternatives when making purchases is to look for green product labels and third party certifications.

These labels are symbols that indicate a product has been certified to a specific environmental standard. Product certification labels can also help consumers to combat “greenwashing”. Refer to the list below for some key labels and certifications when making purchasing decisions.

Appliances and Automotives

E3 Fleet

Provides an independent review and rating of an organization's transportation fleet, based on factors such as vehicle idling, fuel management, and greenhouse gas emissions performance.

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EnerGuide

Canada’s energy performance rating and labeling system for houses, light-duty vehicles, and certain appliances like dishwashers and refrigerators.

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Building Materials and Furniture

Eco-Certified Composite (ECC)

Provides independent certification of wood composite products that are environmentally preferable due to their use of recycled or recovered wood fiber, and that adhere to low formaldehyde emission standards. Previously called the Environmentally Preferable Products (EPP) label.

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Green Label Plus

Label ensures certified carpets and adhesives are the lowest emitters of Volatile Organic Compounds (VOCs) available.

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Greenguard Certification

Certifies products in more than 15 categories, such as furniture, for low emissions of Volatile Organic Compounds (VOCs) into indoor air.

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Level

A third-party certification program for the furniture industry that takes into account a company’s social actions, energy usage, material selection and human and ecosystem health impacts.

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SGS Indoor Air Quality

Certifies that furniture and building materials meet indoor air quality standards pertaining to emissions that may be harmful to human health and the environment.

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Business Travel

Green Globe

A sustainable tourism certification that assesses and recognizes the sustainability performance of travel and tourism businesses and their supply chain partners.

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Green Key

An eco-rating program that recognizes green hotels, motels and resorts committed to improving their environmental performance.

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Electronics

Energy Star

Certification identifies the most energy efficient equipment for over 50 different product categories.

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Epeat

Evaluates the effect of a product on the environment by assessing life cycle environmental standards, and ranks products as gold, silver or bronze based on a set of environmental performance criteria.

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Food and Beverage

BC Certified Organic

Certified Organic Associations of BC (COABC) ensures that products produced in British Columbia have organic content greater than or equal to 95%, and meet the Canada Organic Regime.

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Canada Organic

Government of Canada's certification, which ensures products have organic content greater than or equal to 95%, and meet the Canada Organic Regime.

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Fairtrade

Certification ensures producers and traders have met Fairtrade Standards which guarantee higher social, environmental and pay standards for farmers and workers.

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Oceanwise

Label provides assurance that a seafood choice is the most ocean-friendly choice, based on four criteria.

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SeaChoice

Provides assurance that a seafood choice is the best choice based on a number of criteria, including where the fish was caught and energy consumption during transport.

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General

Cradle to Cradle

Certification ensures a product’s life cycle meets criteria that assesses its safety to humans and the environment and its design for future life cycles.

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EcoLogo

Certification provides assurance that a product, service or packaging meets rigorous multi-attribute, life cycle–based environmental standards.

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Green Seal

Offers life cycle assessment for the development of many products and services, and guarantees products perform as well as conventional products while causing less harm to the environment.

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Green-e

Certifies that companies selling renewable energy are delivering the quantity and type of product advertised, and that companies claiming to use renewable energy are, in fact, doing so.

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Rainforest Alliance

Ensures a product comes a farm or forest operation that meets comprehensive standards that protect the environment and promote the rights and well-being of workers, their families and communities.

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Wood and Paper Products

FSC

Certification ensures wood and paper products were created in a manner that is environmentally appropriate, socially beneficial and economically viable.

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PCF

Certification confirms products are manufactured free of chlorine chemistry.

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