AUSTIN, Texas -- Whole Foods Market announced that it has introduced the Eco-Scale Rating System to help customers make smarter, greener choices for their homes and the planet.
Under the new evaluation system, products will be rated—red, orange, yellow or green—based on the specific set of environmental and sourcing standards each product meets, Whole Foods reported. Each product will be required to meet – at the very minimum – the new baseline orange standard by Earth Day, 2012. Red-rated products do not meet the Eco-Scale standards and will be reformulated or phased out of Whole Foods Market.
Under the Eco-Scale Rating System, Whole Foods Market's household cleaning vendors will be required to list every single ingredient on product packaging. To ensure compliance of the company's strict standards, all products will be audited through an independent third-party for verification before they are color-rated and labeled on shelves, according to Whole Foods.
"Shoppers have a right to know what's actually in the products they use to clean their homes," said Jim Speirs, global vice president of procurement for Whole Foods Market. "We've always carefully monitored ingredients. Now, with Eco-Scale, we're able to help shoppers buy eco-friendly products with confidence and provide safer alternatives for their households and for the planet as a whole."
Whole Foods said that several national cleaning products have already been rated – from liquid laundry detergent and fabric softener to all purpose, glass and toilet bowl cleaners. The lineup includes 14 of Whole Foods Market's store brand cleaning products, as well as a total of 34 products from natural cleaning brands Better for Life, Ecover, Greenshield and Method.
Shoppers will ultimately, be able to easily identify products' environmental impact and safety based on the red-orange-yellow-green color scale. The orange rating represents the baseline of acceptable standards that the yellow and green standards build on, with green labeled products topping the tier.
For more information on Whole Foods Market's Eco-Scale including prohibited ingredients for each tier, visit: wholefoodsmarket.com/eco-scale.