NORTHBROOK, Ill., Feb. 2, 2011 - UL Environment, a business unit of UL (Underwriters Laboratories), an independent product safety certification organization, announced today that it has reached an agreement with Air Quality Sciences, Inc. (AQS) to acquire AQS and its certifying body, the GREENGUARD Environmental Institute. AQS and GREENGUARD are the market leaders in North America for product emissions testing and third-party indoor air quality certification.
AQS helps manufacturers identify the chemicals being emitted from their products using state-of-the-art equipment and testing laboratories. GREENGUARD Certification helps manufacturers communicate their sustainability message to the marketplace by providing assurance that their products have been independently evaluated for low chemical emissions. The internationally recognized GREENGUARD Certification mark and the GREENGUARD Product Guide are indispensable tools that help manufacturers showcase their products' optimal indoor air quality performance.
"This acquisition combines AQS's world-class technology and expertise, as well as GREENGUARD's brand recognition and scientific rigor, with UL's trusted history of standards development, testing, and compliance to create a more comprehensive solution for testing and certification," said Steve Wenc, president of UL Environment. "Together, we'll help consumers, regulators, and other interested parties make informed product purchases by providing clarity around indoor air quality claims."
UL entered the environmental space in 2009 with the launch of its environmental services business unit, UL Environment. The organization helps establish new definitions of safety beyond the borders of traditional safety testing and certifications, aiding manufacturers in differentiating environmentally-superior products in the marketplace. Expanding on UL Environment's product emissions testing and indoor air quality certification capabilities, the acquisition further positions UL Environment as a global leader in environmental evaluation and certification.
AQS is headquartered in Atlanta, Georgia. Since its establishment in 1989, the company trailblazed the indoor air quality testing market¾investing in, developing, and perfecting the most sophisticated dynamic environmental chamber technology in the world. This has enabled AQS to test more than 70,000 products for chemical emissions and catalogue the presence of more than 12,000 product specific chemicals that can pollute the indoor air.
Founded in 2001, the GREENGUARD Environmental Institute certifies building products and materials for low chemical emissions. GREENGUARD Indoor Air Quality Certification and GREENGUARD Children & Schools Certification are the most trusted third-party indoor air quality certifications in North America. More than 350 manufacturers worldwide currently participate in the GREENGUARD Certification Program, representing 19 unique industries and over 10,000 products.
"By joining forces with such a recognized and reputable brand as UL, we are confident that we will boost consumer confidence in the green product marketplace," said Dr. Marilyn Black, founder of the GREENGUARD Environmental Institute and chairperson at AQS. "Additionally, this strategic partnership will allow us to enhance our position as the North American indoor air quality market leader and help us expand our reach into the global market."
Combined, GREENGUARD and AQS leadership has more than 120 years of experience in chemistry, chemical and mechanical engineering, microbiology, public health, and industrial hygiene. Both AQS and GREENGUARD will help bring greater value to UL's existing customers and extend UL's reach to a broader range of companies that seek to minimize their environmental impact.