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Building Operating Management

Standards and Certifications Help FMs Make Sustainable Ice Melt Choices



Third-party certifications for the EPA and Green Seal can help FMs narrow choices down to products that meet specific sustainability criteria.


As the demand for more sustainably minded snow-and-ice-removal products grows, so has the interest in third-party certifications of products and standards guiding product development.

Both the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency and Green Seal offer guidelines for products in the ice-and-snow-removal category.

The EPA’s Safer Choice standard reviews manufacturer-submitted products by comparing them to product-level requirements that must be met to qualify for certification. Depending on the kind of product under view, this could include VOCs, residuals, and other considerations.

According to an EPA spokesperson, ice-melt products have additional criteria. As indicated on the Safer Choice page, “an ice-melt product under Safer Choice is, as the name implies, one that melts ice and snow at temperatures below the freezing point of water, and not simply a product that aids traction like sand.”

The full listing of additional criteria is available here — click on the “Safer Choice Product-Class Criteria” link on the right and select ice-melt products. This link shows the properties of an ice-melt product that would meet Safer Choice criteria. As well, a list of Safer Choice-certified deicers can be found by typing “deicers” in the search bar on the product finder page.

Another certification program, the new Green Seal Environmental Innovation Program, allows companies to submit products for third-party certification to showcase their innovative approach to reducing the “common lifecycle impacts” within the product category.

“Facility managers can rest assured there are no tradeoffs when it comes to performance,” says Taryn Tuss, vice president of marketing and communications for Green Seal. “All Green Seal-certified products undergo rigorous review to make sure they perform just as well as other commercial products while also protecting human health and the environment. If a product doesn’t perform to market standards, Green Seal won’t certify it.”

In the ice-melt category, one product has so far received Green Seal Environmental Innovation certification, Entry from Branch Creek. The product earned certification in July for demonstrating significant reductions in environmental impacts, including water pollution and toxicity to aquatic life.

Robin Suttell has written extensively about building design, construction and operations issues. 


Continue Reading: Snow and Ice Melt

Sustainability Is a Growing Factor in Snow and Ice Melt Choices

Best Practices for Sustainability in Snow and Ice Removal

Standards and Certifications Help FMs Make Sustainable Ice Melt Choices



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  posted on 10/21/2019   Article Use Policy

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