One of the reasons standards are decidedly absent from the ice melt marketplace is because customers aren’t vying for green ice melt products. In a nutshell, certified green ice melt products are out there. But the caveat remains customers’ lack of interest.

“We sell very little of it,” says Belinda Jefferson, president of Hercules & Hercules in  Detroit. “Our customers want cheap, and typically that’s not an environmentally preferable product. They don’t ask for it.”

Because customers aren’t demanding green ice melt, manufacturers aren’t inclined to seek out green certification, and so far, just one organization — the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) — offers a third-party seal of approval.

The lack of demand is the reason why Green Seal, a major independent certifier, has refrained from prior requests for product certification. Despite a few phone calls, the level of interest toward green ice melt is wanting, says Petruzzi.

“Usually snow and ice removal falls down toward the end of the priority list,” he says. “For years people have been trying to find greener ways to deice. But, the cost is sometimes the only important factor.”

Similarly, UL Environment, providers of the ECOLOGO seal, doesn’t offer a green ice melt certification. A spokesperson for the company says UL is supportive of innovations such as green ice melt, but hasn’t yet experienced a level of demand to substantiate the creation of a standard.

“While UL Environment does not currently have an ECOLOGO standard for green ice melt, if manufacturers demanded this, we would consider developing one,” says Angela Griffiths, UL director of research and advisory services.

Hesselink says sales reps receive few requests for green ice melt products from customers. The small group that is interested is typically made up of building owners who are interested in achieving LEED status. The use of green ice melt counts toward a credit under the Building Exterior and Hardscape Management Plan in LEED-EBOM.

More likely, customers are concerned about the damage that rock salt can have on grass and plants, says Hesselink.
“That may be the only real reason are concerned with the product,” she says. “If you’re not careful, you might end up having to spend the money to replace landscaping.”

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