New Online Resource Gets the Skinny on Eco-Labels

New Online Resource Gets the Skinny on Eco-Labels aims to take the mystery out of the bewildering herd of green labels by studying the foundations of all types of eco-labels aimed at both consumers and corporations., a project of the Vancouver-based web developing company Big Room, looks at the sources of more than 260 different ecolabels from around the globe -- labels covering everything from organic food to building products -- with the intent of cutting out consumer confusion around green labelling schemes.

The team behind the website -- Trevor Bowden, Jacob Malthouse and Anastasia O'Rourke -- have backgrounds from the U.N.'s Environmental Program and environmental science, and decided that rather than develop yet another labelling standard for products, they would create a meta-index. Malthouse describes the site as a "Bloomberg for ecolabels" -- a quick way for interested consumers to log in and get the dirt on standards.

There are around 410 ecolabels or green certification systems that cover nearly 500,000 products worldwide, the team estimates, and through the website -- and the help of visitors to the site -- they hope to provide information about each of the labels.

The site's entry for the Forest Stewardship Council's Chain of Custody certification, as one example, offers descriptions of each type of label from the FSC, when it was established, as well as the certification's website, a link to the Wikipedia article on the label and the number of products currently certified under the label.

A full list of ecolabels and details on certifying umbrella organizations is online at