Consumer Reports Expands Green Choice Program to Help Consumers Make Sustainable and Cost-Effective Choices

CR assesses the full product lifecycle for growing numbers of major home appliances

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YONKERS, NY – Consumer Reports (CR), the nonprofit research, testing, and consumer advocacy organization, is expanding its Green Choice designation to include new criteria that evaluates the product life cycle while also broadening the work to include dishwashers. CR uses a green leaf icon to help consumers identify the appliances that are more efficient and more sustainable so they can make purchases that will last longer, are more environmentally friendly, and save money.

“The environmental impact of products doesn’t begin and end inside our homes,” said Shanika Whitehurst, Associate Director of product sustainability, research, and testing at Consumer Reports. “With the expansion of our Green Choice criteria, we will better inform consumers about the holistic impacts of their appliance options on the environment. Our hope is that these evaluations will influence manufacturers to take a wider look as well when designing and producing products.”

More and more people want choices that fit their lifestyles, values, and budgets. That’s why we created and why we are expanding the reach of CR’s Green Choice designation, giving consumers science-based, data-driven tools they can trust when choosing which products improve the marketplace for both people and the planet.

–Marta Tellado, President and CEO of Consumer Reports

In CR’s nationally representative survey of 2,240 American adults in March 2022, 58 percent said they have bought a large appliance such as a refrigerator, range, dishwasher, or laundry machine within the past five years. Among those who had, 55 percent said that environmental concerns such as energy efficiency or water consumption were  either “very” or “extremely” important to them. However, at the same time, consumers find it challenging to evaluate the sustainability of products and services, the true cost of ownership, and identify cost-effective solutions in the midst of decades-high inflation.

“More and more people want choices that fit their lifestyles, values, and budgets,” said Marta Tellado, President and CEO of Consumer Reports. “That’s why we created and why we are expanding the reach of CR’s Green Choice designation, giving consumers science-based, data-driven tools they can trust when choosing which products improve the marketplace for both people and the planet.”

CR created Green Choice two years ago to help consumers identify products that are better for the environment and incentivize businesses to produce sustainable products that are reliable, affordable, and accessible. CR introduced Green Choice with cars, using EPA data to identify the vehicles that produce the fewest greenhouse gasses, as well as other pollutants that have been shown to harm human health.

CR is now expanding the program to include new criteria and categories. Previously, CR evaluated the sustainability of washing machines by measuring factors based on in-home use, such as water and energy consumption and predicted reliability. With this expansion, CR is incorporating all three phases of an appliance’s life cycle: manufacture, in-home use, and disposal. This includes factors such as product weight, interior materials, total cost of ownership and recyclability, which are being applied to washers. In addition, CR has just launched new Green Choice ratings for dishwashers.

“Our Green Choice program shows it’s possible for manufacturers to create home appliances that perform well, use less water and energy, and last a long time,” said Whitehurst.

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