Many people ask how a business gains access to the Sierra Club Green Home GreenCheck® Provider list. Before a product or service can be placed on our site, an applicant must submit a brief description of its company and explain why it is a green or sustainable business. We then review the application, and depending on the category, look for specific actions in one or more of the following areas:
1. Indoor air quality impact
2. Energy usage
3. Water usage
4. Material usage
6. Customer education
7. Provider health
8. Provider business practices
The GreenCheck® name or logo does not denote a formal certification or accreditation process. Gaining listing through the SCGH GreenCheck® process indicates that the business makes a legitimate and meaningful effort to offer a product or service that is more sustainable than what is commonly sold. To illustrate, a painter should be willing to use zero- or low-VOC paints. The painter also should explain to consumers the benefits of these paints, as they represent a meaningful improvement over regular paints. While not required, painters are encouraged to take additional actions such as recycling unused paint and purchasing reusable drop cloths. Our screening criteria recognize that even making simple changes – such as using no-VOC paints – is a great first step to becoming more sustainable.
We at Sierra Club Green Home cannot possibly personally verify each and every company on a continual basis, as companies change their products and services. Therefore, we rely partially on you, the environmentally conscious consumer, to tell us if a product or service does not merit continued inclusion on our site. We have made ranking service providers and product retailers very simple, and you also may e-mail Jennifer Schwab, our chief sustainability officer, at [email protected] if you believe a product or service should be removed from the site. We take the feedback of our users very seriously and will promptly investigate any concerns you have.
Ultimately, Sierra Club Green Home allows the users of our site to find service providers and product retailers who maintain they sell environmentally beneficial products or services. The SCGH GreenCheck® process is our way of asking providers and retailers about their green credentials, but it is not an accreditation or certification process. We believe the small percentage of applicants who are dishonest will quickly be found out by our users and removed from our site. For the rest of the providers, the SCGH GreenCheck® process is a relatively easy, low-cost way to find more interested consumers and also learn how to become a more sustainable provider.