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Evaluation Tool


Tool Category

Consumer Guides

At a Glance

GoodGuide is a consumer guide that compiles, reviews and organizes a wide range of publicly available information about products and companies to rate them on their health, environmental, and social performance. The goal of GoodGuide is to help consumers make purchasing decisions by communicating this information about products and companies. The ratings are available on the GoodGuide web site and are also available as a mobile application allowing consumers to scan products in stores using a cell phone. GoodGuide also offers a suite of custom sustainability information products that it licenses to product manufacturers and major retailers.

Tool Website(s)

Tool Owner/Sponsor

Funded by several prominent venture capital funds, including New Enterprise Associates, Draper Fisher Jurvetson and Physic Ventures.

Type of Entity

For benefit corporation

Focus of Evaluation

Substances, products, companies

Product Stage of Life Evaluated

Raw materials, manufacturing, consumer use, end of life

Impact(s) Evaluated

Ecological health, human health, social responsibility

Tool Description

GoodGuide originally started as a tool to empower consumers to get better information on the environmental, social, and health performance of products and companies. GoodGuide has built web, mobile, and syndication platforms to get information into the hands of anyone interested in the manufacture of products, including retailers, to make the market more transparent. Retailers are beginning to use GoodGuide to get information to consumers on best practices they are adopting, helping them to start a dialogue with consumers. Tools are available to retailers to help them understand how their products compare to those best in product classes which leads to product improvement over time. Tools are also available to help retailers understand what is important to consumers.

For consumers, GoodGuide ranks products and companies on a scale of 1-10 (the higher the score, the better the product). GoodGuide's ratings are developed using methodologies from informatics, health and environmental risk assessment, life cycle assessment, and social impact analysis.

Attributes that define health, environment and social performance are identified (such as raw materials extraction or production, 3rd party certifications, environmental resource management, and the level of responsibility companies take for the health of their workers and the community), and used to measure product or company performance. Specific data for each indicator are then scored. Indicator-level scores are rolled up into sub-scores (health, environment and social responsibility) and into GoodGuide’s final summary rating. Some criteria are weighted more than others for both final scores and sub-scores.

Good Guide has an iphone application that can be downloaded and used to scan product barcodes.

Product Categories

Cleaning & Janitorial Products (Residential & Commercial/Industrial); Electronics; Food & Beverage; Health & Beauty, Cosmetics, Pharmacy; Photo & Printing; Toys

Tool Requirements

GoodGuide compiles data that are publicly available.

Cost of Tool

No standardized pricing is available for retailers wishing to use the sustainability information products. Instead, GoodGuide works individually with each retailer to develop a custom solution for them. The online consumer tool is free.

Evaluation Frequency

Updated ingredients lists are searched for every 18 months. Product ratings may also be revised if new information becomes available or if a consumer reports a discrepancy between GoodGuide's information and the product label.

Strengths and Weaknesses

Strengths: Tools are available to help retail buyers compare products across a set of criteria important to the retail operation. This allows them to purchase products that best fits their customer base. For the consumer guide, separate ratings for health, environment and society allow a user to make choices based on attributes that are important to them.

Examples of Retailers That Use It


For More Information

GoodGuide: (415) 732-7722 ,


GoodGuide is a B corporation, which means that it has been certified as a company that uses the power of business to solve social and environmental problems.

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