UL Environment Acquires GoodGuide

UL Environment, a business unit of UL (Underwriters Laboratories), announced earlier this month that it has acquired GoodGuide, a San Francisco-based company that provide information on the health, environmental, and social impacts of consumer products.  Terms of the transaction were not disclosed. GoodGuide's was founded in 2008 and its funding included a Series A of $3.73 million and Series B of $5.75 million (more background available here).  

GoodGuide currently offers detailed product information for personal care, household chemical, and food products, as well as appliances, apparel, and automobiles at GoodGuide.com and through mobile applications. The company stated that it has environmental, health, and social data on more than 175,000 products and 5,000 companies.

"We are committed to helping the entire product value chain make healthy and green purchasing decisions," said Sara Greenstein, president of UL Environment. "GoodGuide strengthens our ability to deliver on that commitment."

"We look forward to melding our team and technology with UL Environment's world-class sustainability experts and impressive portfolio of services," said George Consagra, chief executive officer of GoodGuide. "This acquisition represents the union of two mission-driven marketplace leaders that are committed to advancing global sustainability, environmental health, and safety."

According to GoodGuide, it will continue offering its free online and mobile applications to consumers after the acquisition.

ULC Standards Acquires TerraChoice

ULC Standards, an independent, non-profit standards development organization, recently announced that it acquired majority ownership of TerraChoice, a Ottawa, Canada-based organization that provides environmental certification and green marketing services, and serves as the exclusive manager of the EcoLogo Program. TerraChoice joins UL Environment as part of the Underwriters Laboratories (UL) global network that provides environmental services to companies worldwide. TerraChoice's Canadian operations, office location, and staff will remain in place and continue to serve its more than 500 customers. Financial terms of the transaction were not disclosed.

Founded in 1988, the EcoLogo Program awards its mark to products that demonstrate environmental leadership within their category. An audit process verifies that each product complies with the criteria established in EcoLogo Standards, which restrict certification to only the top 20 percent of products within a specific category. More than 7,000 EcoLogo-certified products are currently available on the market.

Among TerraChoice's other initiatives, it has published the Sins of Greenwashing studies of environmental claims in consumer markets.

"For more than two decades, TerraChoice has led the development and adoption of sustainable product standards in Canada, and established EcoLogo as one of the most credible eco-labels in the world," said UL Environment President, Stephen Wenc. "By joining forces, we are enhancing our leadership in the global market for sustainable product certification and environmental claims validation. This important convergence will also streamline the process of turning environmental leadership into a competitive advantage for manufacturers and service providers."

"Working together, TerraChoice and UL Environment will accelerate the critical movement toward sustainable products and consumption by providing complementary services for the global sustainability market," said Scott McDougall, President of TerraChoice. "With Underwriters Laboratories' worldwide network of professionals, we will bring greater value to our existing customers and will reach and assist a wider group of companies making genuine environmental progress. We believe that a growing number of buyers will seek out the EcoLogo and UL Environment Sustainable Product Certification marks to identify products that are better for people and for our planet."