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David Perry

SSA looking to update program that identifies ‘green' bedding

FRIANT, Calif. — The Specialty Sleep Assn. is proposing changes to its Environmental & Safety Program involving the addition of third-party certification programs.

The changes would expand the scope of products covered by the SSA's program, which is designed to help consumers make better decisions about buying "green" bedding products, officials said.

"The SSA Green Initiative Board made a commitment to updating the program on a regular basis," said Vicki Worden, a sustainability consultant to the SSA. "The changes in this round of updates include the addition of a Level IV, recognizing finished mattresses that are third-party certified to the Global Organic Textile Standard. Additional third-party certification programs have also been added to Levels II, III and IV."

The seals and tags used in the program detail the compliance levels and complement the Consumer Disclosure Label that is also required to provide greater transparency to consumers, she added.

The SSA is asking bedding producers and retailers and consumers to comment on its proposed changes. Comments are due by Friday, May 31.

The SSA's Environmental & Safety Program was created in 2010 to help manufacturers be transparent in their "green" marketing claims to consumers, and to comply with the Federal Trade Commission's requirements for environmental marketing as depicted in its Green Guides, officials said.

"In May 2009, we realized that we did not have a level playing field for manufacturers wishing to market products with well-researched environmental claims," said Dale Read, president of the SSA. "Most of the mistakes the industry makes when marketing environmental benefits are due to a lack of understanding of the true definitions of the environmental terminology, as well as a lack of knowledge of third-party certifications and regulations that exist to substantiate these claims."

The SSA created Glossary of Terms Frequently Used in Environmental Marketing, along with a three-tiered seal/tag marketing program recognizing manufacturers that are taking steps to bring a more transparent product to consumers.

The proposed changes to the program can be reviewed at www.sleepinformation.org/environmental.html. Public comments can be submitted by completing the form at http://www.sleepinformation.org/forms/esp-comment.html.

 

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