June 29, 2007
June 29, 2007 - Home Depot sent a note a few months ago to the companies that supply the 176,000 products it sells, inviting them to make a pitch to have their products included in its new Eco Options marketing campaign.
Eco Options is designed to give consumers fresh environmentally friendly product options for their home and home improvement needs making the claim that using products that improve energy and water efficiency, air quality and reduce toxicity help producers to enjoy a healthier lifestyle and save money.
The Home Depot has established a rigorous set of criteria to evaluate products before branding them Eco Options. All Eco Options products offer at least one of the following: energy efficiency, water efficiency, improved air quality, reduced toxicity, waste reduction or resource acquisition (e.g. products made from recycled materials).
Suppliers must provide supporting documentation to verify that each product meets the detailed Eco Options technical criteria. Eco Options products must have less of an impact on the environment than conventional products and/or provide a positive environmental change through their use.
Home Depot is currently considering a rug that is made out of corn fiber instead of nylon, one that the manufacturer is heralding as a natural, earth-friendly product. Corn is natural, Ron Jarvis, senior vice president overseeing the Eco Options program acknowledged, but he is concerned about the buildup of phosphates in the Golf of Mexico coming off the Mississippi River from corn farming, as well as the fuel it takes to run the tractors in corn fields and to transport the corn.
As this trend to produce and sell environmentally friendly products picks up speed, it might be the right time and the right opportunity for producers of wool rugs to take a look at the criteria and work to become one of the 6,000 products Home Depot ultimately wants to sell under the Eco Options program.