- THE MAGAZINE
According to ISSA Legislative Affairs Director Bill Balek, “IBEL will directly benefit purchasers, distributors, and manufacturers by communicating, in a format similar to the food-nutrition label, critical health and environmental information associated with cleaning products. Moreover, IBEL will encourage and reward continuous improvement by innovative manufacturers that produce leadership products.”
Existing eco-label programs have done a wonderful job of encouraging the cleaning industry to transition to products with a preferred environmental and safety-and-health profile. However, current product-certification programs have demonstrated inherent limitations, including, but not limited to, the following:
- Existing standards cover only a limited set of products, leaving hundreds if not thousands of “orphan” products with no options for certification or third-party verification
- Current eco-label programs employ simple pass/fail criteria that do not reward companies for continuous product innovation and further reductions in health and environmental impact
- Many small and medium-sized companies are unable to fully participate in eco-label programs because of the high cost of certification.
While IBEL is under development, characteristics of this new labeling system will include the following:
- Expands and standardizes the set of health and environmental metrics for product reporting
- Information-based format compliments existing eco-labels and criteria
- Quantitative reporting system rewards continued product innovation, reducing potential health and environmental impacts
- Flexible system expands access to third-party verification to products not currently covered under existing labels, such as tools, equipment, and niche chemical products
- Multiple product verification tiers, up to and including full product verification by third-party verifiers
- IBEL product registry provides unprecedented access to select product data in a searchable, transparent system
- Affordable tiered fee structure expands access to small and medium-sized manufacturers
- Reduced fees for products with existing eco-label certification from recognized programs.