All Together Now: AQS, GEI, and UL
This is an arranged marriage of sorts, complete with a longish courtship, one that seemingly benefits both parties and just makes sense.
UL Environment is a division of Underwriter's Laboratory, one of the most recognized and trusted labels for product safety since 1894. Begun last year to provide independent validation of green certifications and claims, the acquisition makes great sense.
Air Quality Sciences, founded in 1989 by the eminently talented Marilyn Black, is our industry's best-known product emissions testing laboratory. Instrumental in defining and establishing indoor air quality standards, AQS has assisted numerous manufacturers develop non-toxic, healthy products.
In 2000 AQS launched the Greenguard Environmental Institute as a non-profit to certify products and materials for low chemical emissions. The Greenguard Indoor Air Quality label and the more stringent Greenguard Children and Schools are widely recognized and accepted by green building programs and building codes worldwide.
In a message to AQS and Greenguard's leadership, Marilyn Black acknowledged the changing sustainable product marketplace. "Increasingly, green-minded consumers and other health conscious purchasers are demanding products that deliver multiple environmental benefits-from protection of human health and indoor air quality to green energy use and reduced carbon footprint.
"After evaluating these market changes and assessing our product offerings and certification capabilities, AQS and Greenguard determined that partnering with UL Environment would create tremendous value for the marketplace. Also, there are extraordinary synergies between our organizations based on quality, integrity, sound science, transparency, and commitments to customers, market needs, human health, and environmental sustainability.
In a press release the president of UL Environment, Steve Wenc said, "This acquisition combines AQS's world-class technology and expertise, as well as Greenguard's brand recognition and scientific rigor, with UL's trusted history of standards development, testing, and compliance to create a more comprehensive solution for testing and certification."
Combined the three organizations will form a formidable brand and maybe, just maybe, somewhat simplify the murky world of green product certifications.