Ecover: Sustainable Cleaners
First of all, our hats off to you for caring enough about the products you purchase to look this deeply into a company’s practices. It takes a lot of energy and time to sit down and dive in. You are obviously invested in the safety and wellbeing of your family and home. We think this means we have a lot in common!
Ever wonder who is holding everyone accountable as they shout from the rooftops how “green” their products are or how “sustainable” a company really is? Chances are, if you’ve navigated to this page, you’ve wondered. We take these claims very seriously, and we know that talking about these things without being able to concretely back them up, weakens the impact overall.
Which is why Ecover, long ago, created what they call the Diamond Model. It’s a list of thirteen criteria their products must reach in order to meet their sustainability ethos – the heart and soul of their decision making process. This model is validated by objective third party Vincotte Environmental. They help Ecover to stay on track and stay true to what they set out to do, which is making great cleaning products!
Essentially, this is a lifestyle model for each product Ecover makes, with thirteen measurable characteristics falling under three phases. To give you a better understanding of the approach, Ecover has provided us with an explanation of each phase and the criteria within.
Phase 1: Extraction
This is how the ingredients are sourced and our great formulations are created.
Under the Extraction phase are the following three criteria: Renewable Resource, Green Chemistry and Resource Proximity.
What this means is, whenever possible, we source the ingredients as close to our factories as possible. After all, it wouldn’t make sense to run all over the globe sourcing ingredients in the name of sustainability while simultaneously racking up our carbon footprint.
We also make sure we’re not mining the earth for ingredients that aren’t renewable. Even if a potential ingredient would make for a powerful cleaner or is cheap to get, if that ingredient is at risk of depletion or takes eons to renew, we won’t use it.
To round out this first phase, the science behind converting all those ingredients into cleaners uses green chemistry. We like to call this Clever Science. What it means is that we ensure the ingredients we use can be responsibly transformed into cleaners without creating a swarm of pollution during production. For more, read up on our factories.
Phase 2: Consumption
This is where you come in; it comes down to how our products work and what they do for you.
These are the criteria for Phase 2: Primary Efficiency, Secondary Efficiency, and Consumer Safety.
We’re sticking to our commitment to create great cleaning products, because what’s the point in buying “green cleaners” if they don’t work or you have to use twice as much to get the job done? To ensure truly effective cleaners, our products undergo a series of performance evaluations and comparisons in our on-site laboratories (mad scientist included). And of course, your well being comes first. Who needs harsh chemical fumes or residue in their home? Nobody. That’s why Vincotte Environmental checks to make sure we formulate our products to be safe to use as well.
Phase 3: Absorption
This is where Mother Nature gets a hand, ensuring we don’t make pretty products that wreak havoc on the environment when they go back out into the world. Protecting our waterways and aquatic life is a major priority at Ecover. Of course, each phase is important, but it’s pretty obvious from the number of criteria under this last phase that this is our sweet spot. Here they are:
Aquatic Safety, Limited Aquatic Impact, Aerobically Degradable Ingredients, Anaerobically Degradable Surfactants, Phosphorous Absence, VOC Absence, Primary Packaging Optimization
Whew, that’s a tall order! Did you think that your cleaning products just disappear once you pull the plug? They usually don’t. Since we all have to protect our waterways just as much as we’ve got to do six loads of laundry or clean the dishes, we try to use products that disappear all the way and that do so quickly.
We like to say, we do the dishes, not the fishes! How we do it is by making sure our products quickly and completely biodegrade. We make sure our products need the minimal amount of water to become neutral again and that they have the lowest possible levels of volatile organic compounds. That's why we use Ecover.
Lastly, we know that Ecover works tirelessly to find the best possible packaging options – what’s on the outside is a big deal when you’re talking plastics. They recently made the switch to 100% PlantPlastic that are also 100% recyclable and renewable. To read more about this innovation, click here.
The methodology used by Vinçotte to validate compliance with environmental requirements is based on the requirements set by ISO 14020 and ISO 14021 which serve as frames for validation. Ecover guarantees that all the product promises are supported by quantifiable data from the Diamond Model. This honesty and transparency is fundamental to us. The Vincotte Environmental validation guarantees that the Diamond Model is based on recognized scientific methodology, controlled by an external 3rd party.
Learn more about Ecover. Visit www.ecover.com