Green America: Growing the Green Economy for People and the Planet

New Seal of Approval for People and the Planet
June 14, 2005

WASHINGTON, DC- As Americans are increasingly concerned about the contents of their food, the use of labor sweatshops, and hazardous chemicals in their clothing, household goods and furniture, they are looking for products and companies that they can trust. With the new Co-op America Seal of Approval, consumers can now easily identify members of Co-op America’s Business Network, the first and largest network of socially and environmentally responsible businesses in the US. Businesses displaying the seal have made deep commitments to their customers, communities, workers, and the environment.

Consumers can look for the seal and know that the companies displaying it have made extraordinary commitments to fair treatment of their employees and workers in their supply chain such as farmers and manufacturers. Members also promote healthy communities where they do business by offering only quality goods and using locally grown foods and materials when possible. They also commit to preserve the environment by reducing waste, using recycled papers, refraining from using pesticides, and adopting other procedures for protection of the Earth.

Alisa Gravitz, Executive Director of Co-op America, says: “by living, buying, and Investing green, you are celebrating and nurturing the connections that sustain us all.” Co-op America’s Green Business Network™ Seal is necessary for consumers to be sure that they are only purchasing from and investing in companies that are working to create a better world.

The Seal Ensures Quality and Community for Customers

While the seal is important for network businesses, the real beneficiaries of the seal are the customers. The seal means that their food was grown with high standards, including meats that were raised without chemicals or stimulants, and crops that are safe from pollutants like defoliants and pesticides that can adversely effect the health of their families. Moreover, because the food and products are often grown locally, supporting a store with Co-op America’s Green Business Network™ Seal of Approval means investing money back into their own community and into companies that share their values.

Consumers can find the seal at any of the businesses listed in the National Green Pages published by Co-op America, or at www.greenpages.org. Denise Hamler, Director of Co-op America’s Business Network, remarks that “over 10,000 products are available from Co-op America's Green Business Network™ members, which means that customers can find just about anything that they would want to purchase at these stores and their Web sites.” Also, many of the businesses will ship products throughout the country, making shopping quick and convenient. The seal is available at www.greenamerica.org/greenbusiness/sealofapproval.cfm

By: Nicole French, Public Education and Media Intern at Co-op America

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