Whole Story

The Official Whole Foods Market® Blog

Green Up Spring Cleaning with the Eco-Scale™

By Rebecca Joerres, April 21, 2011  |  Meet the Blogger  |  More Posts by Rebecca Joerres
Beginning on Earth Day, we’ll be launching our new Eco-Scale™ Rating System for household cleaning products. What does this mean for you? It means that figuring out how to scrub, wash and polish in an earth-friendly way just got easier! This new rating system gives you the information you need to make more informed choices about the way you clean your home, your clothes and your dishes. The Eco-Scale™ Rating System is a 3rd-party verified, tiered rating system that we are now using to evaluate cleaning products for environmental impact, safety, efficacy, source, labeling and animal testing. Based on the product evaluation, we will rate it red, orange, yellow or green on the Eco-Scale™. Here’s how the Eco-Scale™ Rating System gives new meaning to green cleaning:
  • Full ingredient disclosure on the packaging
  • Safer alternatives to conventional ingredients
  • Ingredients are evaluated for environmental impact
  • 3rd-Party verification
There’s a thorough list of requirements for each of our ratings, but here are some highlights: “Orange” Rating: No phosphates, chlorine or fake colors “Yellow” Rating: 100% natural fragrances; minimal safety concerns “Green” Rating: 100% natural, non-petroleum ingredients Since the U.S. government does not require full disclosure of ingredients on cleaning products, the Eco-Scale™ Rating System encourages producers to create better products and requires that all ingredients be listed on the packaging. It’s the first set of household cleaner standards from a retailer and the highest standards set by any “green cleaners” standards-setting group. Many of our nationally distributed cleaning products are in the process of being audited and rated, so you’ll see these Eco-Scale ratings soon on brands like our entire line of Whole Foods Market and 365 Everyday Value products, Biokleen, Method, Ecover, Better Life and Greenshield. Plus, all of our cleaning supply products will be undergoing a third-party audit to ensure that all ingredients meet our Quality Standards, that all label claims are truthful and not misleading, and that they comply with all government regulations. As part of this launch, we are also making a commitment to ensure that all products that do not, at minimum, meet the orange tier will be removed from our shelves by Earth Day 2012. We love how our customers have high expectations for us, and we want to show that love by demonstrating our commitment to offering the greenest products on the market. For more detail on each rating, visit the Eco-Scale™ page on our website. What do you think? Will the Eco-Scale™ be a helpful tool the next time you’re looking for cleaning products that aren’t dirty?
Category: Green Action, Grocery




Lynn says ...
Thank you Whole Foods. I love this. It would be equally awesome if you would do this for your body care products.
04/21/2011 12:41:37 PM CDT
Brandi morann says ...
Last week-end I went to you H.B. Store to see "The Parm Crackin" and to purchase some cheese at a great price. (One of your employees told me I can freeze the parm so I bought extra)The event was entertaining and fun! I really enjoyed it! Your employees really have fun together and really like getting to customer involved.
04/21/2011 1:15:19 PM CDT
Gina says ...
This is a great idea! Who doesn't want to be kinder to the environment AND to their own home environment? No reason to use toxins when there are safer alternatives.
04/21/2011 3:43:06 PM CDT
Jeri walker says ...
Love the idea.
04/22/2011 10:11:56 AM CDT
Harmony Salvatore says ...
I strive for a better world every day. My fiancé and I shop at whole foods faithfully twice a week. Spending more than he thinks we should on food. I cannot convince him that the cleaning products would be better for our home environment and the world! So many toxins ate out there. I am so thankful that we are making small differences composting and having our own small organic garden!
04/22/2011 10:35:01 AM CDT
Donna says ...
I am committed to living a life that is environmentally friendly. I usally make most of my cleaning supplies but still buy some of them too. I would love to try these products. Thank you for the chance to win them :)
04/22/2011 11:35:33 AM CDT
Mickey Cuevas says ...
Just would like to do my small part in saving the earth and these products will help:)
04/22/2011 1:57:57 PM CDT
Samantha Sophia says ...
Lynn made a great suggestion about doing this for body care products!
04/23/2011 2:40:28 PM CDT
Mari says ...
I would love to try these products and take it to work to introduce it to my co-workers. We all try to eat healthy and use eco- friendly, non toxic products. Thanks you for giving us a chance to win the products.
04/23/2011 8:30:21 PM CDT
Adam says ...
there's already the "Premium Body Care" rating for bodycare products, look for the seal.. although it's more focused on safety of the ingredients than environmental impact, but it's still a great set of standards and another example of WFM doing the homework for the customers :)
04/27/2011 9:38:45 PM CDT
Jillian says ...
Cool! Do this with body care products!
04/27/2011 10:17:42 PM CDT
Sarah Curtis says ...
As a hairstylist I am exposed to enough chemicals at work I see how they effect my body so I think being greener at home will be better for my health and my families health!! I want the earth to be healthy as well after all it has given us so much we should show it more gratitude!!!
04/28/2011 6:20:45 AM CDT
Ann says ...
Thank you!! This is a great addition to the information you provide on the treatment of animals for the meats and eggs you sell, and the sustainability and the impact on the oceans for the seafood sold. I want to be able to shop with a clearer conscience and Whole Foods is allowing us to do that.
04/28/2011 7:49:12 AM CDT
Donna says ...
Thank you for introducing this new rating system scale. Yes, when I buy cleaning products, I try to stay away from petroleum and fragrances that are not natural so the rating system scale would help me. Every positive step forward into people's understanding of products and the environment will help. So for this scale: red is the least safe and the green is the most safe. Thank you for sharing this new system with us.
04/28/2011 7:54:01 AM CDT
Gay N Gooen says ...
Great idea. I welcome it! You've turned me on to method cleaning products, so I look forward to seeing their ratings.
04/28/2011 10:32:37 AM CDT
Wen says ...
I love all natural cleaner which has no sting chemical smell and as powerful as conventional cleaners.
04/28/2011 1:43:33 PM CDT
k fleming says ...
I hope some day ALL cleaners - industrial and household - have this type of rating - intentionally misleading marketing exists everywhere
04/28/2011 5:03:31 PM CDT
Vicki says ...
Good to hear for all who buy green cleaning products in your store. It's a smart choice for families to green clean because we know a lot more about the harmful effects of chemicals, toxins and fumes that may be found in regular household cleaners and personal care products.
04/29/2011 2:44:17 PM CDT
Marcia says ...
I LOVE this! Thank you for doing this, Whole Foods! As others have already mentioned, I would also appreciate this for body care products.
04/30/2011 10:00:54 AM CDT
Brenda S. Vander Wege says ...
Love Whole Foods!
04/30/2011 1:55:39 PM CDT