Research will help distributors supply the best products for their customers, but substantiating claims can be a challenge. Ice melt manufacturers see a problem with the fact that there’s no one body governing the claims made for products. One company could market an ice melt as “Earth friendly” and even call it “green” on the bag without the product really being that good for the environment.

But those seeking out some sort of assurance or standard do have options. Green Seal only awards its GS-20 Certification to a manufacturer who applies and is approved for the standard. The standard itself, which grades ice melt on a variety of criteria and not just environmental friendliness, isn’t given out freely.

“Green Seal set a really high bar,” says Clemmer. “We make 10 products but only one that meets that standard.”

Safer Choice also holds ice melt manufacturers accountable by only awarding approval to ice melt products that have no more than half the chloride of traditional products.

Certifications aren’t everything to some. Jensen is happy with what Morgro’s products are comprised of and says the company has applied for the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency’s Design for the Environment honors, which helps evaluate the human health and environmental attributes of chemicals in products, according to the agency. However, he says Morgro decided that the annual cost of having to obtain certification wasn’t a fit for the company.

“I just don’t know how important [certification] is to the general end user when it comes to ice melt,” says Jensen. “I do think it’s important to be environmentally safe and friendly. I just don’t know how important it is to an end user who just wants something to perform at a high level.”

Jensen says it’s very important to know that the presence of an environmental label doesn’t necessarily mean that an ice melt holding that distinction is safer than others.

“Most high end ice melt is safe for the environment or environmentally friendly,” says Jensen.

At the end of the day, it is the performance that usually matters most to the customer. When asked to rank traits of ice melt by what he thinks are most important to the jan/san distributor’s customer, Clemmer suggested the following:

  1. Safety
  2. Ability to eliminate or reduce tracking
  3. Ability to preserve infrastructure
  4. Environmental friendliness

“Your audience understands the total value proposition,” says Clemmer.

previous page of this article:
Tracking And Other Ice Melt Issues