FAQ

Why another label for 'green' detergents ?

It is true. There are some labels for 'green' detergents around already.

But the one from The Green Way To Life is the only one, for the time being, to have been conceived by and for producers in liaison with their main stakeholders : their distributors, their suppliers and their consumers.

The existing labels could not describe or qualify the environmental and performance quality level these pioneers had achieved.

To preserve the trust from their stakeholders, these pioneers have decided to research and develop a standard which would qualify real green products.

What is the difference between The Green Way To Life label and others?

There is more than one difference. Any detergent is a complex product, involving chemistry and biochemistry and even more.

The main points of difference which we can pinpoint are :

  • full transparency of information
  • a product performance which is at par with conventional products
  • an equal and close attention to the full life cycle main steps : 1 : ingredients and transformation; 2: in use performance and safety; 3 : degradation and waste
  • an ultimate level of requirements which is constantly evolving according to the state-of-the-art in our field
  • an independent governance of the label which will be shared openly
  • a strong focus on health and security of the user as well as on the environment
And what advantage is there for me as a consumer?

The perception of 'green' detergents has unfortunately been damaged by years of greenwashing. Their image now sounds like … Yes, it's green but it doesn't clean and it's expensive !

It may be true at times.
But the majority of green producers, in particular the pioneers from The Green Way To Life, are creating, developing and producing products which offer both the ultimate green profile and also the highest performance.

This is why they have developed a standard which is solidly based on principles of sustainable development and scientifically proved.

Some of our quality criteria

  • Raw materials or finished products with any health risk are fully prohibited.
  • The same goes for ingredients with an environmental risk.
  • Detergents that don't work are banned as well – performance is the first requirement.
  • Each product is submitted to an external audit before it can be labeled.

By all these measurements and actions, The Green Way To Life ensures their consumers an unequaled environmental and performance level.
Proved and certified.

How do you communicate the advantages of your label to the consumers ?

This is an important point. Greenwashing came up mainly from a perversion of terms attached to sustainability. Repeating a false word makes it meaningless.

This is why The Green Way To Life Association is focused on producing a precise documentation on terms which are commonly used in sustainability : natural, renewable, eco-friendly, ecological, green, organic, sustainable, no X, pure, recycled, dangerous for health, hypo allergen, skin friendly, bio-quality, man made …

The Association rocks their recommendations on experimentations and official norms or rules by country (e.g. Germany) and/ or by region (e.g. Europe).
We produce at a yearly frequency a glossary which is a strict guideline which our members should comply to.

Their products communication should reflect these instructions. Of course, any unjustified misuse of terms to cheat consumers and stakeholders is subject to the exclusion of the Association.

Our marketing committee is in charge of this glossary advised by our experts. They have to accept the framework of communication of members and more precisely the communication pattern attached to the label on the products. They refer to the Board of Administration in case of misuse.

Is The Green Way To Life Association only reserved to producers ?

No, the Association wants to reflect the diversity of the sector. It will embrace all stakeholders.

For the time being, it is articulated around producers, internationally represented.

But the statutes of the Association are built to accept 5 colleges working together :

  1. The producers
  2. The suppliers
  3. The distributors
  4. The Civil Society (consumers 'associations, NGO's, etc)
  5. The experts

It is forecast that all 5 colleges will be represented at the end of 2013.

How can I join you ?

The most usual case is that you are a producer – a pioneer in the green markets and want to get a recognition of all your efforts to produce ultimate quality products.

You should then follow the following steps :

  1. Apply to our Association. Of course, contacts and discussions between our group and you are necessary at this stage. We have commonly to check if and how we share the same values and vision which are described in the Code of ethics of The Green Way to Life Association.
  2. Screen through our data list to check if your product is eligible. This stage is fully anonymous and confidential. There again, our experts may drive you through the process and advise you if any need from you.
  3. If you are elected as a member and your product passed the screening phase, then you should be controlled by a certification body.
  4. The audit report from the certification body will be then handed to the Control Committee which awards the label by reconciling both the company compliance to the Code of Ethics and the product profile against the standard.
How can you guarantee the independence of your Association ?

Our Association is based on the principle of objectivity and independence.
We have set a number of guidelines and principles to secure it.

  • Our governance is driven by our values, our statutes and a Code of Ethics which are openly accessible to any candidate.
  • The products applying for the label are 1/ audited through objective, precise and measurable criteria 2/ audited by an independent official certification body and 3/ examined by an independent control committee composed from all 5 colleges of our Association.
  • We shall edit on a yearly basis a complete and public sustainability report of our Association – stating the main actions and achievements
  • We have added all stakeholders of the sector through 5 colleges to ensure a constant and dynamic dialogue.
Who are the certification bodies ?

First, The Green Way To Life is for sure not a certification body.

To secure the independence and quality of its label, it will ask external, official and well-renowned certification bodies to testify the products' profiles against the standard emitted by the Association.

Discussions are in progress. The list of certification companies will be posted officially.

Is it free ?

Yes, but for consumers only ! They should not be charged to buy our labeled products. We are developing this quality recognition for them above all. To make him or her understand why they pay a fair price to our products

For the professional, it has a cost which is usually practiced in this sort of project. Can be broken down in 3 main parts :

  1. The fees to become a member of the Association – they are worked out on a turnover basis
  2. The labeling process : pre-audit, audit, control
  3. And royalties induced by the label itself.
Any other questions ?

Please do not hesitate to contact us.

Olivier Guilbaud. President

olivier.guilbaud@thegreenwaytolife.org

Tel. +33 6 78 89 40 74