Clean up on your sustainability and health goals

Businesses that want to address their customers’ concerns about the use of palm oil, toxic chemicals and greenwashing in personal care products like shampoos and soaps can do so thanks to the release of a new environmental standard by Good Environmental Choice Australia (GECA).

“Greater awareness has resulted in more people questioning what goes in to our personal care products,” said GECA’s CEO Rupert Posner.

“For example, there is increased knowledge of the extensive use of palm oil in many products and that while it is a cheap and practical product for manufacturers, its use can have a significant environmental impact.

“And for a company to have a genuine sustainability policy it should also include the products it provides for its customers and staff. It is not just about washing towels less frequently.”

GECA’s new environmental standard, which covers toiletry and personal care products such as soaps, shampoos, oral hygiene products, skin care, cosmetics and deodorants, addresses these and other sustainability issues. It has been developed following extensive consultation and released following a period of public comment.

“This new standard will enable businesses to ensure the personal care products they procure have addressed important health, environmental and sustainability issues. It saves them having to examine a product for each of the items they may be concerned about. It also addresses those that they may not have thought about.”

Procuring products that are GECA certified makes it easier for companies to achieve their sustainability goals and it is something they can communicate with confidence to their customers and staff.

The standard includes, among others, criteria to:

  • advance the use of sustainable palm oil
  • limit volatile organic compounds (VOCs)
  • ban hazardous substances such as carcinogens, nanoparticles and sensitisers
  • make sure environmental claims are verified and clear to discourage greenwashing
  • address waste minimisation during the product’s manufacture as well as promote more environmentally friendly packaging

“There is no reason why businesses can’t procure products that meet their personal care needs and are less toxic to their customers and staff and kinder on the environment. GECA certified products achieve this,” said Posner.

“If your supplier doesn’t have products with the GECA tick, then ask them to get them certified.”

Contact Rupert Posner on +61 438 989 420 or rupertposner at More information on GECA’s Personal Care Products standard is at

Good Environmental Choice Australia (GECA) is an independent, not-for-profit organisation whose mission is to transform the actions of business and consumers to drive a substantial increase in the sustainability of consumption. It does this by running the country’s only transparent and independently audited multi-sector green certification program. The life-cycle based ecolabel or “GECA tick” was established to encourage the development of sustainable goods and services and now provides public access to more than 2000 certified products. GECA’s ecolabelling program is built on ISO 14024 principles, offering global best practice in product certification and ecolabelling. GECA is the sole Australian member of the Global Ecolabelling Network (GEN).

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