Green Seal

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Evaluation Tool

Green Seal

Tool Category

Standards, Certifications & Labels

At a Glance

Founded in 1989, Green Seal is a non-profit organization that develops life cycle-based sustainability standards for products, services, and companies and offers third-party certification for those that meet the criteria of each standard. The life cycle approach ensures that all significant environmental and social impacts are considered in the development of a standard, from raw materials extraction through manufacturing, use, and disposal.

The website contains a database for retailers and purchasers to enable them to quickly find Green Seal certified products.

Tool Website(s)


Tool Owner/Sponsor

Green Seal

Product Stage of Life Evaluated

Raw materials, manufacturing, transportation, consumer use, end of life

Tool Description

Green Seal standards provide specific criteria and guidelines for sustainability as well as quality, ensuring that sustainable Green Seal products perform at least as well as traditional counterparts. Green Seal standards are developed with input from industry, government, public interest, private sector groups and consumers.

As Green Seal is meant to identify leadership performance, labels are awarded only to products that go above and beyond general governmental or industry compliance standards.

Product Categories

Automotive; Building Materials & Products; Cleaning & Janitorial Products; Health & Beauty, Cosmetics, Pharmacy; Paints & Coatings

Tool Requirements

Companies must supply data regarding a product’s components and the materials used. The evaluation process typically takes about six months. If a product or service fails to meet the requirements for certification, companies are often able to modify their original submissions to achieve certification.

When the evaluation is near completion, an auditor conducts an on-site inspection of the manufacturing facility or service location. Corrective actions must be addressed within 120 days of the audit report.

Annual auditing is required for products and services. When Green Seal standards are revised, all products and services certified to the previous edition of the standard must complete the Green Seal’s recertification process within one year. 

Cost of Tool

Fees include a startup evaluation fee and an annual monitoring fee. Fees are tiered based on the type of product under review, number of products a company wishes to certify, and the company’s total annual sales revenue. There are five tiers ranging from a $3,500 fee for a single product for companies with annual sales revenue less than $5 million to $9,500 for a single product for companies with annual sales revenue over $500 million. Discounts are available for companies certifying multiple products and for certified product manufacturers. Other fees include monitoring fees and travel costs for auditors. To view each standard’s fee schedule, view the links on the Certification Fees page.

The Green Seal Re-Evaluation Fee Schedule is a one-time fee and is based on the number of products submitted, the certified product manufacturer’s current annual revenue and other factors. 

Evaluation Frequency

Auditing is required for products and services annually.

Strengths and Weaknesses

Strengths: Green Seal standards are created with input from a wide array of participants, including industry, government, public interest and private sector groups.

Examples of Retailers That Use It

Office Depot, Whole Foods, Lowe’s

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For More Information

Green Seal: (202) 872-6400 or greenseal@greenseal.org

Web Resources
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