To help consumers find water filtration appliances developed with a demonstrated environmental commitment, the Water Quality Association launched a Sustainability Mark.
It is the first certification of its kind in the industry, and is earned by products only after the producers have proven that best practices for environmental sustainability were used in the creation of the products. The standards also incorporate basic corporate social responsibility (CSR) expectations.
The Sustainability Mark will first focus on filtration products that make use of activated carbon, as well as suppliers of activated carbon. Additional product categories are expected to be added to the certification program; these may include reverse osmosis, UV purifiers, distillers, and plumbing products.
Examination is required to audit and assess the product manufacturers according to standards developed by a task force, which was led by WQA and consisted of environmental experts, consultants, regulators, manufacturers, industry professionals and other stakeholders.
Ten companies applied for certification at the launch of the mark, and WQA said many others are evaluating their products for application for the mark. The first products displaying the Sustainability Mark are expected to be available to consumers by the end of 2013.
Evaluation and auditing is conducted by WQA, which is a nonprofit trade group. In addition to the Sustainability Mark, the association offers other performance-based certifications under its Gold Seal program. The Gold Seal is designed to help consumers choose products that are effective.
WQA provides seals of approval on a variety of drinking water treatment products. They are awarded after passing laboratory testing, literature review, and materials assessment. WQA's product certification program is accredited by the American National Standards Institute.
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