A coalition of concerned stakeholders* released the following statement criticizing Green Seal’s newly published Environmental Standard for Industrial and Institutional Cleaners (GS-37) as fundamentally flawed.  (*see list below)

The process Green Seal implemented to develop GS-37 fell far short of being “fair, unbiased and credible.”  As organizations directly involved in the development of this standard, we are deeply disappointed by Green Seal’s process and cannot recognize GS-37 as a valid, consensus-based standard.  

On August 29, Green Seal published a final standard even though:  

1.        the most recent draft standard was rejected by stakeholder vote;
2.        the substantive deficiencies that led to this opposition remained unresolved; and
3.        stakeholders were never given an opportunity to review the revised final standard prior to its formal release.  
As a result, the current new standard is not a consensus-based standard, a stated objective by Green Seal at the start of this process.

Throughout the standard development process, our organizations consistently commented that numerous criteria in GS-37 lack sufficient scientific basis.  These concerns were not adequately addressed, leading to sustained opposition when stakeholders voted on the November 2007 proposed standard.  While Green Seal took some steps to address these deficiencies, we believe many areas of sustained opposition remain unresolved.  

Green Seal failed to provide its stakeholders an opportunity to review the revised document, which includes definitions and language that had never appeared in previous drafts, prior to its publication.  Green Seal cannot credibly claim to have overcome opposition when registered stakeholders were shut out of this critical final step.  The result is a flawed standard that lacks the factual and scientific basis to guide purchasing decisions.  Such an approach violates Green Seal’s own principles and procedural requirements of respected standard setting organizations that Green Seal claims to meet.

We urge Green Seal to immediately withdraw GS-37 and reinitiate its inappropriately abrogated standard development process, engaging stakeholders to develop a truly science-based, consensus standard.
* New York State Chemical Alliance
Alkylphenol Ethoxylates Research Council
American Chemistry Council
Carpet and Rug Institute
Consumer Specialty Products Association Reckitt Benckiser, Inc.
SI Group, Inc.
The Fragrance Materials Association
The Soap and Detergent Association
Zep, Inc.