Product & Customer Raw Scores
To begin the process of ranking the sustainability of six thousand plus products, we had to differentiate ourselves from the pack. All of our products begin at a rating of 3.5 stars: that's because we only selected to carry products that meet multiple environmental factors. Our baseline is 50% recycled materials or 50% agricultural fibers - which means every product at the Raw Office is manufactured with HALF of its sourcing coming from recycled content (except for our soaps, sanitizers, inks, and toners of course. These meet other sustainability criteria such as social impact and minimized packaging). Thus, struggling with the reality that our products are already vastly more sustainable than the majority of our competitors - all of our products feature no less than 50% recycled materials or agricultural fibers, to drill it home - we decided to dig up every environmental claim, label, and certification that our products had been attributed. In classifying these based on impact, we developed a point system to rank the sustainability factor of each product in our catalog.
These environmental characteristics fall into specific categories regulated by the FTC and Canadian Competition Bureau that are universally used to distinguish the importance of environmental labels and certifications. While most of these claims are backed by sound research, some are not - these claims, which have come into question in recent years, receive less weight than those properly vetted.
Products with ISO (or similar) life cycle based eco labels receive our highest accreditation. These include Eco-Logo and Green Seal in North America. Products with these labels are certified as having a reduced environmental impact and have undergone in-depth scientific testing, auditing (or both), to prove its environmental, economic, and social performance standards. These labels are validated by the Underwriters Laboratory and hold a high-degree of reputability.
(These products receive five (5) points. Points are awarded once per category.)
Our second-most important category deals with ISO (or similar) Type 1 claims. This category is comprised of Single Issue eco labels; Forest Stewardship Council (FSC), Sustainable Forestry Initiative (SFI), and Designed for the Environment are just a few of the labels we take into consideration. Labels such as these denote a key single issue of their environmental footprint instead of considering the entire cycle. For example; guaranteeing responsible management of the forests (FSC), or setting a maximum level of energy consumption (Energy Star).
(These products receive three (3) points. Points are awarded once per category.)
Our third category deals with ISO (or similar) Type II self-declared environmental claims. Labels belonging to this group don't necessarily share the same characteristics as other third-party labels as an independent authority has not awarded them. These include general claims such as anti-microbial, energy efficient, and percentages of post-consumer waste - they refer directly to an environmental aspect of the product itself. “Green” claims such as these must adhere to the FTC and Canadian Competition Bureau standards.
(These products receive two (2) points. Points are awarded once per category.)
The fourth category we look at deals with self-declared environmental claims not certified by any authority. This category includes environmental claims that been called into question in recent years, such as products being labeled as “compostable” or “biodegradable” yet only meeting this claim under factory-controlled conditions. These claims are usually provided with data, but no specific study or research to back up these claims.
(These products receive one (1) point. Points are awarded once per category.)
In addition to our fourth category we have a fifth “social impact” category. This category includes minority owned companies and North American manufacturers. In the interest of developing our local economies, social infrastructure, and increasing employment rates, we thought it best to award an additional point for either one of these social impact claims. Another consideration for these exemptions was the minimized transportation and distribution impact when dealing with North American manufacturers. Social impact is an often-overlooked pillar of sustainability.
(These products receive 1 point. Points awarded only once.)
We shoot all this information into our tailored eco database. After our database calculates the overall value of each product based on the score accumulated in each of these categories, we add it up and attribute a ranking. This ranking determines the number of stars on each product. Purchase products with more stars and get more points to put towards discounts. You'll receive an email every two months with your accumulated RAW Score and respective discount, along with your RAW Dollars savings. Two in one!Our goal is to help you consume responsibly – in the most sustainable way possible. When you purchase a product with 3.5 stars, you receive 50 points towards your RAW Score, and so on.
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