Green is the new black at the Big Orange. The Home Depot announced April 17 the launch of Eco Options, a classification program that will brand all of its green products as such, making it easier for customers–homeowners and contractors alike–to select environmentally friendly building products.
The company says it has identified 2,500 products for the Eco Options label–including all-natural insect repellents, front-loading washers, compact fluorescent light bulbs, and certified wood–each falling under one of five categories: clean air, water conservation, energy efficiency, healthy home, and sustainable forestry. Branded products are either eco friendly by definition, the company says, or have met certain environmental performance criteria certified by a third party.
The company has launched a Web site, www.homedepot.com/ecooptions, with helpful information, green product guides, and calculators.
The Home Depot says the move is just one of the ways it's dedicated to creating a healthy living environment. As part of its efforts, for example, the company says it is reducing its own impact on the environment by replacing incandescent bulbs in its lighting displays with compact fluorescents. It also is working with the Conservation Fund to offset carbon emissions created by its Atlanta headquarters and a portion of the emissions created by employees commuting to work and traveling on business.
It's too soon to say if this move will drive more consumers to follow through on the green trend (whether they're going mainstream or not, green products still face hurdles with consumers who see potentially higher price tags) and if it will encourage other retailers to follow suit. But by making it easier to identify environmentally friendly products, The Home Depot certainly is taking a big step forward by lowering a significant obstacle in buyers' paths.