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Earth Day 2011: Standards Initiatives for a Healthier Planet

Forty-one years ago today, environmental activism took root with the first Earth Day, on April 22, 1970. Now celebrated in more than 175 countries around the globe, Earth Day continues to inspire millions of people to take conscious strides toward a healthier planet on Earth Day and throughout the year.

From electric vehicle standardization to greenhouse gas reductions, the American National Standards Institute (ANSI) is actively engaged in initiatives that promote a greener environment and the entry of new energy technologies into everyday life.

Electric Vehicles
The exhaust from gasoline-run cars accounts for 20 percent of the world's carbon dioxide emissions, which in turn contribute to global climate change. Clean and green, the benefits of electric vehicle (EV) technology are many. Because EV emissions do not come from the tailpipe, EVs are considered zero-emission vehicles. And because electricity is a domestic energy source, EVs reduce U.S. reliance on foreign oil. To help give the green light to the safe, widespread deployment of electric vehicle technology in the United States, ANSI has undertaken two major initiatives in this area.

Do You Know Your Environmental Footprint?

Take the Earth Day quiz and measure your impact on the planet.

On April 5-6, ANSI hosted a standards-needs-assessment workshop on behalf of the U.S. Department of Energy (DOE) and the Idaho National Laboratory to examine the standards and conformance activities needed to support electric vehicle technology and the associated infrastructure. A workshop report outlining priority areas where standards and conformance activities are needed will be submitted to the DOE in the coming weeks. [see related news item]

In March, ANSI announced its intention to form an Electric Vehicles Standards Panel (EVSP) that will take up the development of a standardization roadmap to ensure a coordinated U.S. approach to standardization in this area. In addition, the EVSP will liaise and coordinate as appropriate with other domestic and international electric vehicle initiatives. [Learn more]

Greenhouse Gas Reductions
With a growing global awareness of the need for environmental accountability, many organizations are looking to demonstrate their efforts to inventory, report, and reduce greenhouse gas (GHG) emissions. To help assure the credibility of their claims, organizations are turning to third-party bodies to validate and verify their emission assertions.

ANSI offers an accreditation program for organizations providing third-party validation/verification services for the reduction and removal of GHGs. ANSI accreditation enhances the credibility and value of the process by attesting to the competence and qualification of validation/verification bodies to perform these duties. Applicable to a broad range of industries, the ANSI GHG accreditation program operates according to requirements defined in international standards developed by the International Organization for Standardization (ISO).

Product Sustainability
When it comes to purchasing home appliances, consumers are increasingly shopping with sustainability in mind. To help provide consumers with an assurance of product claims, ANSI administers an accreditation program for certification bodies that seek recognition from the U.S. Department of Energy (DOE) and the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) to certify products under the agencies' joint ENERGY STAR program. The program assesses certification bodies against international standards and EPA's own requirements. [Learn more]

ANSI also serves as an accreditation body in EPA's WaterSense program, which helps consumers to identify products that conserve water while maintaining high performance levels. [Learn more]

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Jana Zabinski

Senior Director, Communications & Public Relations


[email protected]

Beth Goodbaum

Journalist/Communications Specialist


[email protected]