UL Environment Inc., a global leader in environmental evaluation and certification and wholly owned subsidiary of Underwriters Laboratories (UL), announces that it is seeking public comment on a new corporate sustainability standard for manufacturers: ULE 880 – Sustainability for Manufacturing Organizations. The comment period will be open for approximately 45 days, ending Tuesday, September 14, 2010.

UL Environment and Greener World Media have collaborated in developing the first, organization-wide sustainability standard assessing the corporate policies and practices of manufacturing organizations. Greener World Media is the producer of GreenBiz.com®, a leading source for news, best practices and research related to the greening of mainstream business.

"Our new Standard represents the culmination of an extensive collaboration between Greener World Media, UL Environment, and a number of sustainability experts and other stakeholder groups," said Stephen Wenc, president of UL Environment. "We are eager to gather feedback from the broader stakeholder community to make sure that we are meeting the market's need for a comprehensive sustainability standard it can rely on."

ULE 880 Standard for manufacturing organizations defines core sustainability metrics within the following five areas:

  • Sustainability governance: How an organization leads and manages itself in relation to its stakeholders, including employees, investors, regulatory authorities, customers and the communities in which it operates
  • Environment: How an organization manages its environmental footprint across its policies, operations, products and services, including its resource use and emissions
  • Workforce: Issues related to employee working conditions, organization culture, benefits and retention
  • Customers and suppliers: Issues related to an organization's policies and practices on product safety, quality, pricing and marketing as well as its supply chain policies and practices
  • Social and community engagement: An organization's impacts on the communities in which it operates in the areas of social equity, ethical conduct and human rights

Organizations that demonstrate leadership performance against the Standard's metrics will be recognized through a third-party verification and certification process. "Users will feel confident that certification to ULE 880 cuts through the hype that can so often accompanies sustainability-related marketing claims," said Joel Makower, chairman and executive editor of Greener World Media.

ULE is seeking participation from a broad cross-section of stakeholders affected by or interested in the implementation of this Standard, including manufacturers, assessment and standards organizations, regulators, policy makers, procurement officers, sustainability professionals, the socially responsible investing community, and non-profit and for-profit sustainability interest groups.

UL's Collaborative Standards Development System (UL CSDS), an online tool used to collect stakeholder feedback and collaborate with other participants during the comment period, will be available 24 hours a day, seven days a week to facilitate participants' ability to engage in the standard review process. All comments submitted through the UL CSDS will be visible to all participants, creating an open and transparent process.

UL Environment will develop additional sustainability Standards, including ULE 881 intended for service-sector companies.

Those interested in participating in the open comment period should send the following information to standards@ulenvironment.com:

  • Name
  • Organization's name
  • Job title (if applicable)
  • Mailing address
  • Phone number
  • Email address

Account information and UL CSDS activation instructions will be provided upon receipt of a request to participate.

About UL Environment Inc.
UL Environment (ULE) supports the growth and development of sustainable products and services in the global marketplace through standards development and independent third-party assessment and certification. ULE is a wholly owned subsidiary of Underwriters Laboratories, a global leader in conformity assessment that has been testing products and writing standards for more than a century. ULE currently offers Environmental Claims Validation (ECV), a service testing and verifying manufacturers' self-declared environmental claims, Sustainable Products Certification (SPC), a service testing and certifying products to accepted industry standards for environmental sustainability and Energy Efficiency Certification (EEC), a service testing and verifying product compliance with mandatory and voluntary energy efficiency regulations and programs. ULE is developing additional environmental standards, as well as training and advisory services to support organizations in the sustainable products and services industry.