Two ecological products receive Green Seal of Choice
November 16, 2009

Two products received the prestigious Green Seal of Choice for producing ecological products during the recently concluded GP3 Conference on business and the environment held in Pasay City.

Effective for three years the Green Choice Seal of Approval is the only third-party and multiple-criteria based seal of approval on envi ronmental claims that is being espoused by the government. It is awarded by the National Ecolabelling Programme-Green Choice Philippines (NELP-GCP) being administered by the non-government organization Philippine Center for Environmental Protection and Sustainable Development Inc. Paper produced by United Pulp and Paper Company Inc. (UPPCI) and LVD induction lamp luminaire produced by the Monrio, Philippines have been found by a technical panel to have minimized their impact on the environment based on a set of criteria developed under the NELP-GCP.

To refrain from cutting down trees, paper products developed by UPPCI use 100 percent recycled fiber. They also have lowered content of dyes, bleaching agents and other chemicals used in paper production.

Testing of UPPCI's products was done by the Forest Products Research and Development Institute, an agency under the Department of Science and Technology, and the Societe General de Surveillance.

UPPCI is a subsidiary of the Siam Pulp and Paper Public Company Limited, the paper and packaging arm of The Siam Cement Group of Thailand.

Meanwhile, the LVD induction lamp luminaire developed by the Monrio Industrial Corp. won the Green Seal Choice for eliminating PCB in its production, lowered mercury content and high quality of performance. Monrio has submitted different certifications from internationally recognized bodies to support its claim that their product is of high quality, based on improved average life, lumen depreciation, power factor and total harmonic distortion. The firm has inked a partnership with another company to ensure safe retrieval and disposal program of its busted lamps.

The awarding of the Green Seal of Choice is intended to encourage companies to produce only ecological products that reduce environmental impact. Many products in the local market have not yet been environmentally assessed.

The NELP-GCP and its administrator PCEPSDI promotes ecolabelling or environmental labeling, an international system of identifying environmentally compliant products and services.

It has already developed 32 sets of product criteria. They include criteria for consumer items like detergents, liquid disinfectants, bath soaps, hair shampoos, crayons and liquid dishwashing products, tissue paper and paper envelopes, writing instruments, and household batteries.

Criteria were also developed for the construction materials like paints, cements, organic infill materials, fire extinguishers, fluorescent lamps, and electronic ballasts. Already available are the criteria for materials used in office and industries like engine oils, printing and writing paper products, paper boards, inkjet and toner cartridges, desktop and laptop computers, multi-function printing devices, printers, photocopiers, and facsimile machines. "We are encouraging all manufacturers and service providers that are going into 'green business' to apply for the Green Choice Seal to communicate to consumers that their product is truly environmentally-preferable over other products," says June Alvarez, PCEPSDI executive director.

"Environmentally compliant companies and products will also have an edge over their competi tors as they will be given priority in all procurement activities by government based on Executive Order 301 on green procurement," Alvarez adds.