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EcoLogo Explained

The Canadian EcoLogo is an eco-label program that allows Canadian consumers to identify products and services that meet strict environmental standards regarding their entire life cycle. 

About EcoLogo in Canada

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EcoLogo has existed for about 20 years, and was acquired by Underwriters Laboratories in 2010. It is one of the only label programs in North America to meet ISO 14024 standards and be approved by the Global Ecolabelling Network (GEN), an association of third-party labeling organizations that seeks to improve transparency in environmental marketing. EcoLogo standards take into account the entire life cycle of a product or service - from manufacture to disposal - and are designed so that only the top 20% of products that are available on the market can achieve certification and carry the logo. EcoLogo standards are reviewed and updated every three years.

In order to achieve certification, products must undergo scientific testing and/or auditing from a third party to ensure that it meets the environmental standards that have been set by EcoLogo. These standards take into account criteria such as:

  • Materials
  • Energy use
  • Health and environment
  • Product performance and use
  • Product stewardship and innovation

Achieving EcoLogo certification is voluntary, though standards are set by an independent third party (EcoLabel) and not the company seeking certification for its product or service. 

History of EcoLogo in Canada

EcoLogo grew out of the Environmental Choice Program (ECP) that was established by the Government of Canada in 1988 in order to encourage demand (and supply) for products and services that are less stressful on the environment. In 1995 the program was shifted to the private company TerraChoice Environmental Services. In 2010 it was acquired by Underwriters Laboratories. Today the EcoLogo label is carried by more than 7000 products. Most renewable energy certificates in Canada are certified by the EcoLogo label.

EcoLogo Certification for Green Power

To achieve EcoLogo certification the renewable energy generation facility must undergo an evaluation and site visit to ensure that practices are in line with environmental guidelines. Among other criteria, EcoLogo-certified green power must:

  • Be generated within the same calendar year (with a window of up to the first three months of the following calendar and the last six months of the previous calendar year) in which it is sold
  • Be generated in a way that does not jeopardize the survival/recovery of any endangered/threatened species
  • Meet the Fisheries Act (most relevant for hydro-power) and the Canadian Environmental Protection Act
  • Must not exceed certain thresholds for air pollution when generated

Find out more about Renewable Energy Certificates

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