ICS Magazine

Take the Green Certification IQ Quiz

January 15, 2013

Most cleaning professionals have heard the expression “Green certified” when selecting environmentally preferable cleaning chemicals. However, do we all know exactly what “Green certified” really means?

To help us better understand the certification process and its history, Enviro-Solutions has prepared the following Green Certification IQ test. (Answers are at the bottom.) 

The first Green certification organizations appeared in the United States in which year?

  1. 1989
  2. 1994
  3. 1998
  4. 2000
  5.  

Before certification organizations appeared, the most common way cleaning chemicals were certified was the following:

  1. The Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) would certify the product environmentally preferable.
  2. The manufacturer would “self-certify” the product.
  3. Trade associations and industry peer groups would certify the product.
  4. The term was not used.
  5.  

Before certification organizations were created, what was the problem with most Green certifications?

  1. They were not always accurate.
  2. There were no universally accepted Green standards or criteria.
  3. They were not always conducted by independent laboratories.
  4. All of the above.


In most cases today, for a product to be honored as Green certified it means:

  1. The product has been evaluated by a third-party organization using universally accepted, science-based standards at an independent approved laboratory.
  2. The product has been evaluated by a certifying organization and laboratory using universally accepted, science-based standards.
  3. The product has been manufactured using ingredients considered safer for the environment and the user.
  4. All of the above.
  5.  

The ultimate goal of using Green-certified cleaning products is:

  1. To protect indoor air and environmental quality, typically through the reduction of volatile organic compounds (VOCs)
  2. To reduce cleaning’s impact on the user, building occupants, visitors, and the environment
  3. To reduce the amount of nonrenewable ingredients needed to manufacture cleaning chemicals
  4. All of the above
  5.  

Once a product has been Green certified by a leading certification organization, it can do which of the following?

  1. Bear the “eco-label” of the certification organization
  2. Market itself as Green and environmentally preferable
  3. Be used in facilities seeking LEED certification
  4. All of the above
  5.  

Green certification lasts how long?

  1. As long as the product is being manufactured in the same manner
  2. For two to five years, based on the specifications of the certification organization
  3. For a set period that can vary by certifying body and/or until the Green standards or criteria have been changed and/or the products formulation has changed
  4. All cleaning chemicals must be re-certified every three years.
  5.  

What is considered the number one benefit of Green certification?

  1. It has ended confusion in the marketplace as to what is Green and which products are truly Green.
  2. It has opened up new marketing opportunities for chemical manufacturers.
  3. It has helped make cleaning safer and healthier for users, building occupants, and the environment.
  4. The number of chemical-related injuries has been reduced since Green-certified cleaning chemicals were introduced.
  5.  

Answers: (In some cases there is more than one right answer; the following are the most correct answers)

  1. 1989, Green Seal is regarded as the first Green certification organization in the US
  2. The manufacturer would “self-certify” the product.
  3. All of the above.
  4. The product has been evaluated by a third-party organization using universally accepted, science-based standards at an independent approved laboratory.
  5. To reduce cleaning’s impact on the user, building occupants, and the environment
  6. All of the above
  7. For a set period that can vary by certifying body and/or until the Green standards or criteria have been changed or the products formulation has changed
  8. It has ended confusion in the marketplace as to what is Green and which products are truly Green.