ULE Beefs Up Arsenal with Acquisition of AQS, Greenguard

NORTHBROOK, IL — UL Environment has acquired Air Quality Sciences Inc. (AQS) and its well-known Greenguard Environmental Institute in a deal that will bring thousands of certified products under its portfolio and enhance its services in the areas of product emissions and indoor air quality.

As part of the agreement reached Tuesday, AQS and the Greenguard Environmental Institute will become part of UL Environment, a business unit of Underwriters Laboratories (UL) that was launched in 2009 after a growing number of environmental product claims began flooding the market. UL Environment's services include environmental claims validation, sustainable products certification, energy efficiency certification, environmental product declarations and advisory services.

"UL Environment's acquisition of AQS and Greenguard enables us to help manufacturers verify that their products are low-emitting," said UL Environment President Steve Wenc. "As a result, manufacturers, regulators, consumers, and entire markets can be confident that these products have optimal indoor air quality performance."

It is the latest acquisition for UL, following last year's addition of the green marketing consulting firm TerraChoice, an Ottawa-based firm that also manages Canada's EcoLogo program. UL Environment is also partnering with GreenBiz Group to develop ULE 880, a sustainability certification for whole companies.

According to a statement from UL Environment, Atlanta-based AQS has tested more than 70,000 products for the presence of more than 12,000 chemicals in products that can taint indoor air quality.

Its certifying body, the Greenguard Environmental Institute founded in 2001, is a widely-recognized organization in its own right for its work in certifying the chemical emissions levels of products ranging from computers to office equipment and furniture. More than 10,000 product have earned Greenguard certification from more than 350 manufacturers in 19 industries. Greenguard also certifies construction materials and whole buildings for low chemical emissions levels.

"By joining forces with such a recognized and reputable brand as UL, we are confident that we will boost consumer confidence in the green product marketplace," Marilyn Black, founder of the Greenguard Environmental Institute and chairperson at AQS, said in a statement Wednesday. "Additionally, this strategic partnership will allow us to enhance our position as the North American indoor air quality market leader and help us expand our reach into the global market."