UL Acquires TerraChoice in Green Standard Consolidation

September 08, 2010 by Jeff Shepard

ULC Standards, a unit of Underwriters Laboratories has acquired TerraChoice, a green marketing consultancy and the managers of Canada’s EcoLogo program. While the acquisition was conducted by ULC Standards, the move serves to bring TerraChoice together with UL Environment (ULE) for a partnership that will expand and enhance both groups’ capacities and reach.

"TerraChoice will be able to work with UL Environment to bring its standards and programs into the U.S., and ULE will bring its programs to a broader audience in Canada," explained Stephen Wenc, President and Managing Director of ULE. He added, "It’s a wonderful complement to the work we’re doing with ULE in areas like building materials, appliances and consumer electronics."

The EcoLogo program as developed by TerraChoice is a certification that currently covers more than 7,000 products in 80 categories. As part of the partnership, the EcoLogo label will continue to be administered by TerraChoice in Canada, while the EcoLogo label in the U.S. will remain on products in a select number of categories, with the rest falling under the larger ULE umbrella.

With more than 70 EcoLogo standards developed by TerraChoice to date, the partnership adds considerable breadth to the markets that ULE can reach in the U.S. and elsewhere.

"We’re bringing our brand and expertise and perspectives together with ULE to combine our forces," Scott McDougall, CEO of TerraChoice, told "In the old adage, we’re making one plus one equal three in the world of eco-labeling and environmental product expertise."

The acquisition and pairing of TerraChoice with UL Environment is a natural fit, Wenc and McDougall said, in part because both firms create their standards on a framework of transparency and consensus-based development. And the consolidation of TerraChoice within ULE will bring more clarity to the field of certification. "Our goal is to able to offer customers one standard and one evaluation with two great brands," Wenc said.