This guide explains some of the common green claims and labels you will see in Canada. It was created for information purposes only and does not constitute an endorsement by the Government of Canada of the labels it contains. The Office of Consumer Affairs does not provide oversight of environmental labels and claims and has not assessed the adequacy of the programs associated with these labels.
On this page:
- Energy efficiency
- Forest products
- Food products
- Other environmental claims
- More information
The UL ECOLOGO claims to help identify products and services that have been independently certified to meet environmental standards that reflect their entire life cycle — from manufacturing to disposal. Consumer products we use every day – from paint to paper – can carry this logo. Examples include:
- cleaning products
- sanitation products
- sanitary and office papers
- mobile phones
- electronic equipment
For more information, visit the Underwriters Laboratories website.
The international ENERGY STAR symbol marks products that have high energy efficiency. ENERGY STAR-qualified products include:
- major appliances
- cooling and ventilation equipment
- lighting products
- office equipment
- water heaters
- windows and doors
- and more
For more information, go to Energy Star section of the Natural Resources Canada website.
The Canadian EnerGuide label lists a product's estimated annual energy consumption and compares it to the energy performance of similar products. The EnerGuide label appears on products such as major household appliances, heating, cooling and ventilation equipment, new houses and automobiles.
For more information, visit Natural Resources Canada's EnerGuide in Canada page.
Forest certification logos on forest products, such as wood and paper, claim to help consumers identify that the product comes from sustainably managed forests. These are examples of internationally recognized forest certification systems you may see on products in Canada:
- Forest Stewardship Council
- Sustainable Forestry Initiative
- Programme for the Endorsement of Forest Certification
(Reproduced with the permission of PEFC International)
Forest certification systems claim to provide consumers with independent, third-party assurance of:
- sustainable forest management
- ethical behaviour
- adherence to local laws
B Corp Logo
The Certified B Corp logo claims to indicate that a business has met rigorous standards of social and environmental performance, accountability and transparency.
Balancing profit and purpose is a key part of the certification. Certified B Corporations must also amend their legal documents to include a requirement for their board of directors to balance profit and purpose.
It is claimed that the combination of third-party validation, public transparency and legal accountability helps B Corps build trust and value.
For more information, visit the B Corp website.
Fairtrade Canada Logo
Fair trade schemes, such as Fairtrade Canada, claim to set standards to ensure that certified products are produced in a socially and economically fair, and environmentally responsible manner. These programs promote sustainable development and work to improve the livelihood of farmers and other workers in the developing world. Fairtrade programs may help consumers make a conscious decision to purchase products that aim to reduce poverty and promote change.
For more information, go to the Fairtrade Canada website.
The Green Seal certification claims to guarantee that products and services are high-quality and meet credible, transparent, and science-based environmental standards. It also claims to provide information on the product ingredients to confirm that they are biodegradable, and do not contain phthalates, heavy metals, or optical brighteners.
Marine Stewardship Council Certification Logo
Products that have the Marine Stewardship Council (MSC) label come from fisheries certified to have met the MSC standard for sustainable fishing.
The MSC claims that these fisheries must show how they:
- minimize environmental impact
- have sustainable fish stocks and
- have an effective management system in place that meets all local and international laws.
For more information, go to the Marine Stewardship Council Website.
Canada organic logo
The Canadian Food Inspection Agency regulates the use of the Canada organic logo. The use of this logo is voluntary and is only permitted on products that contain at least 95% organic content and have been certified according to the requirements of the Canada Organic Regime.
Producers must also follow sustainable management practices to avoid damage to the environment and ensure the ethical treatment of livestock.
For more information, visit the Organic claims on food labels page on the Canadian Food Inspection Agency website.
Other environmental claims
We know you are concerned about the environmental impact of the products and services you use. You want to purchase items that are less harmful to the environment and buy from environmentally conscious businesses.
You may have noticed an increase in "green" products and services. While some environmental claims are true, others may be false, misleading or unsupported by adequate and proper tests.
This practice is called "greenwashing" and is used by businesses to create an impression that a product, service or a business as a whole, is "greener" than it really is.
Be vigilant against environmental claims that seem vague, exaggerated or are not accompanied by supporting statements. Don't be afraid to reach out to the manufacturer to ask them questions.
False, misleading or unsubstantiated environmental claims may raise concerns under the laws enforced by the Competition Bureau. You can learn more about how greenwashing affects consumers on the Competition Bureau's Environmental claims and greenwashing page.
Remember that all consumer goods have an impact on the environment, including those that claim to be "green".
For more information on green claims visit the following: