Environmental labels and claims

This guide explains some of the common green claims and labels you will see in Canada. It was created for educational purposes and is not an endorsement of the environmental labels and claims below.

On this page:

EcoLogo

EcoLogo

The Canadian EcoLogo (also known as Environmental Choice) helps you identify products and services that have been independently certified to meet strict environmental standards that reflect their entire life cycle — from manufacturing to disposal. EcoLogo standards are designed so that only the top 20% of products available on the market can achieve certification. More than 7,000 products — from paint to paper — carry this logo, including, but not limited to:

  • cleaning products
  • sanitation products
  • sanitary and office papers
  • mobile phones
  • electronic equipment

For more information, visit the Underwriters Laboratories website.

Energy efficiency

ENERGY STAR

ENERGY STAR

The international ENERGY STAR symbol marks products that are among the most energy efficient on the market. ENERGY STAR-qualified products include:

  • major appliances
  • heating
  • cooling and ventilation equipment
  • lighting products
  • electronics
  • office equipment
  • water heaters
  • windows and doors
  • and more

For more information, go to Energy Star.

EnerGuide

EnerGuide

EnerGuide

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 products

Forest certification logos on forest products, such as wood and paper, let you know that the product comes from sustainably managed forests. There are three internationally recognized forest certification systems you may see on products in Canada: 

Forest Stewardship Council

All three provide you with independent, third-party assurance of:

  • sustainable forest management
  • ethical behaviour
  • adherence to local laws

Sustainability

B Corp Logo

B Corp Logo

The Certified B Corp logo indicates a business that has met rigorous standards of social and environmental performance, accountability and transparency.

Certified B Corporations must also amend their legal documents to require that their board of directors balance profit and purpose.

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

Fairtrade Canada Logo

Fair trade schemes, such as Fairtrade Canada, 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 allow consumers the opportunity to help reduce poverty and promote change through ordinary shopping.

For more information, go to Fairtrade Canada.

Green Seal 

Green Seal certification offers a guarantee that products and services are high-quality and meet credible, transparent, and science-based environmental standards. It also offers a guarantee that product ingredients are biodegradable, and do not contain phthalates, heavy metals, or optical brighteners.

Food products

Marine Stewardship Council Certification Logo

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.

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 www.msc.org.

Canada Organic Logo

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 Use of the organic logo on organic products page on the Canadian Food Inspection Agency website.

Recycling symbols

Hairline style recycling symbol

2-tone recycling symbol

Möbius loop

The recycling symbol, or Möbius loop, indicates that a product or packaging is recyclable, contains recycled content, or both.

When used to show that a product or packaging contains recycled content, the percentage of recycled content should appear, either inside or next to the symbol. When a Möbius loop is used to indicate a product is both recyclable and contains recycled content, there must be an explanatory statement supporting both claims.

Society of the Plastics Industry Symbols

Society of the Plastics Industry Symbols

Many plastic and packaging products display a symbol that looks like the Möbius loop, but has a different purpose and meaning. This symbol is part of a resin coding system produced by the Society of the Plastics Industry (now the Plastics Industry Association) that identifies the different resins found in plastic bottles and rigid containers. Recycling firms have varying standards for the plastics they accept and the presence of an SPI code does not mean the product is recyclable or recycled in your community.

Check with your municipality to see which types of plastics and other materials are collected locally.

Other environmental claims

Anyone who promotes a product or service may decide to make environmental claims about it. These claims are usually based on a single attribute (for example, that a product is biodegradable or recyclable), rather than on the environmental impact of the product's entire life cycle. In addition, these claims may not be independently tested or certified. False, misleading or unsubstantiated environmental claims may raise concerns under the laws enforced by the Competition Bureau. Learn more about how greenwashing affects businesses and consumers on the Competition Bureau’s Environmental claims and greenwashing page.

More information

For more information on green claims visit the following: