What Is the ECOLOGO® Certification Program?

The ECOLOGO® Certification Program is the most popular and most respected certification of environmental performance in North America.

It provides an independent verification that a business' products or services have been responsibly produced or delivered without causing harm to people or the environment.

It gives companies an important marketing tool because it communicates their commitment to environmental performance to customers around the globe.


The Canadian federal government launched ECOLOGO® in 1988 to encourage and recognize environmentally responsible practices in various industries.

It is North America's oldest and the world's second-oldest environmental standard and certification organization.

Meeting ISO 14024 standards for environmental labels, the program is accredited by the Global Ecolabelling Network (GEN) and is recognized internationally as an important tool for promoting environmentally-friendly products.

Underwriters Laboratories acquired the program in 2010.

How Does the ECOLOGO® Certification Work?

The most important factor for a product or service to be ECOLOGO® certified is its life cycle from manufacturing to disposal.

These products and services go through thorough scientific testing or auditing from an accredited third-party organization to ensure ecological soundness. The product should meet environmental specifications during its entire life cycle.

ECOLOGO® standards are reviewed and updated every three years to keep pace with today's environmental awareness and technological advancements.

The ECOLOGO® certification requires businesses to conduct an environmental audit of their manufacturing plants, which must be submitted for approval by selected laboratories or certification bodies.

The certification process looks at a wide variety of criteria, including:

  1. Materials: materials should be safe to use and should not cause harm to humans or the environment when used with other components in a product.
  2. Energy Use: these products should be energy-efficient and should use recycled or renewable energy sources.
  3. Manufacturing and Operations: the manufacturing process of products and all business activities should be conducted so that it does not produce any toxic emissions and contaminated wastewater, which can damage ecosystems and affect human health.
  4. Product Stewardship and Innovation: stewardship is defined as the manner in which companies implement environmental responsibility practices. Companies should take the significant initiative to promote environmental responsibility, educate consumers about it, and demonstrate their commitment to sustainable messaging.
  5. Disposal: these products should be designed with easy and safe disposal in mind so they can easily decompose without causing harm to the environment.

How to Become an ECOLOGO® Certified Business

The entity must undergo a strict evaluation and meticulous site visit to ensure that their facilities meet the standards set by ECOLOGO® in order to earn the ECOLOGO® certification.

The organization must indicate its commitment to ecological sustainability, environmental stewardship, and continuous improvement in all aspects of business management.

Benefits of the ECOLOGO® Certification

Greenwashing is a serious problem. It happens when companies make false or misleading claims about their environmental practices in order to gain an advantage over their competitors. 
This is where the ECOLOGO® comes into play, setting a trust-worthy standard for consumers who are truly trying to do their part for the environment. 

The ECOLOGO® label is used by consumers worldwide when selecting eco-friendly products, which provides an advantage in finding new customers in a highly competitive world.

Certified organizations will see their profits grow over time due to the consumers and industry professionals’ recognition of environmental responsibility.

The following are some benefits of the ECOLOGO® Certification:

Competitive Advantage

With the number of products and services available on the market, it is difficult for customers to distinguish eco-friendly ones from those that are not.

Consequently, buyers will be more likely to choose a product or service with an ECOLOGO® certification, as it means it has passed rigorous testing by accredited organizations.

Product Differentiation

The marketing value of the ECOLOGO® label can help businesses attract new clients and provide unique differentiation in their industry.

Improved Sales Performance

Increasing sales is one of the most common benefits of getting an organization certified with ECOLOGO®. Businesses will have more success when marketing their products or services because of the added value element it provides them with, aside from their high quality and effectiveness.

Consumer Trust and Confidence

The ECOLOGO® certification is well recognized by consumers worldwide, which creates a sense of trust in their purchases that they would not have otherwise had without this label.

It helps businesses attract new clients looking to buy from environmentally-conscious companies.

Sustainable Future

As the population continues to rise and natural resources continue to be exploited, businesses that focus on environmental responsibility will eventually become more prevalent.

This means more profits for companies with certified products as it becomes even more necessary for businesses to practice their commitment to environmental stewardship.


The Bottom Line

The ECOLOGO® certification program is used worldwide by environmentally-conscious organizations and individuals who wish to differentiate themselves from competitors who do not share or acknowledge their level of dedication to protecting the environment.

Seeking the ECOLOGO® label is a voluntary step that can:

  • benefit an organization's bottom line,
  • help attract new customers,
  • enhance product differentiation,
  • increase consumer confidence in green purchasing choices,
  • act as a marketing tool when looking for new business opportunities, and
  • give the business owner/manager peace of mind, knowing they are doing their part to protect the environment.


1. What is the Global Ecolabelling Network (GEN)?

The Global Ecolabelling Network (GEN) is an international organization responsible for the ECOLOGO® certification program. It is an association of independent labeling organizations that aim to enhance market transparency and consumer information about environmental labeling programs worldwide.

2. What are the responsibilities of the Global Ecolabelling Network (GEN)?

GEN manages and operates the ECOLOGO® certification program, sets standards for products seeking to be certified, communicates relevant information on sustainable product development to its members, undertakes research projects on sustainability issues related to product design and marketing, and supports new sustainable business opportunities.

3. Why choose ECOLOGO® over other ecolabels?

ECOLOGO® is a voluntary third-party ecolabel that is recognized worldwide by consumers, industries, retailers, and governments as a quality mark for products and services that are environmentally responsible. It is awarded to businesses that have been reviewed by experts from accredited environmental management system certification bodies in different countries.

4. What are some tips for becoming an ECOLOGO® certified business?

Businesses do not have to completely overhaul their entire production line to become certified with ECOLOGO® but should instead focus on making specific changes. It is also important for companies to keep up-to-date by attending conferences targeted toward sustainable development, learning about relevant laws and policies, and staying abreast of new products on the market.

5. Are ECOLOGO® certified products and services generally pricier than non-certified ones? 

While some products may be more expensive due to the cost of production or operation, ECOLOGO® certified products are not necessarily pricier. They must offer value for money and meet standards set by ECOLOGO®. Whether they are more expensive than their non-certified counterparts is ultimately determined by market forces.


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