Southern California environment news and trends

Whole Foods’ eco-rated cleaning aisle goes green

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AP Photo/Harry Cabluck

The Whole Foods main store in Austin, Texas.

Think you know what lurks inside your basic household cleaning products? There’s a good chance you really don’t. According to a 2011 Harris Interactive poll taken exclusively for Whole Foods, 73 percent of consumers believe the U.S. government requires cleaning suppliers to list all ingredients on packaging. And they’re wrong.

The reason Whole Foods was compelled to take such a survey was to herald the success of the chain’s Eco-Scale rating system for cleaning products, which does require a full disclosure of all ingredients. A year after launching, the program has resulted in more than 90 percent of the cleaning products sold in their stores passing the company's "green cleaning test."

"We launched Eco-Scale to help shoppers make smarter, greener choices for their families and the planet and provide a way to know exactly what ingredients are in their household cleaning products," said Jim Speirs, global vice president of procurement for Whole Foods Market in a press release.


Whole Foods, Safeway earn top seafood marks from Greenpeace

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Earlier this month, Greenpeace released their 2012 Carting Away the Oceans report (AKA CATO). It found that grocery chains Safeway and Whole Foods are the first retailers to earn a “green” rating for the sustainability of the seafood sold in their stores.

“Safeway and Whole Foods have transformed themselves into true industry leaders,” said Greenpeace’s Senior Markets Campaigner Casson Trenor in a press release. “There is certainly still more work to be done, but we celebrate the achievements of these companies and eagerly await similar actions from other retailers posed to embrace sustainability to a greater degree.”

Both stores earned a rating of 7.1 out of 10, with 7 being the lowest score that qualifies as “green” in the annual report, launched in 2008. Greenpeace was especially enamored with Whole Foods’ recent Earth Day-related pledge to stop selling “red-listed” seafood species, a move we reported on last month. To be red-listed, a species is determined to be from depleted waters or collected through destructive means.