GoodGuide is a website dedicated to examining the health, environmental and social performance of products and companies. Their breakdowns are really impressive and thorough–for example, above, Apple scores poorly for, among other things, its involvement with countries that have oppressive regimes. They look at everything from a manufacturers’ environmental impact, to company worker treatment, to the health risks or benefits of using a certain product.
From their website:
GoodGuide was founded in 2007 by Dara O’Rourke, a professor of environmental and labor policy at the University of California at Berkeley. Dara is one of the world’s leading academic experts on global supply chains – tracking product life cycles from resource extraction into manufacturing, through consumer use to disposal. Products often have hidden and sometimes disturbing stories – stylish apparel made in Asian sweatshops, or baby care products containing cancer-causing chemicals. Dara realized how little we know about the products we bring into our homes every day. Information was either unavailable, too complex to understand, or biased, as marketers make unsubstantiated claims that their products are natural or safe.
To address the consumer marketplace’s need for better information, GoodGuide has assembled a team of scientific and technology experts to take on the challenge of organizing the world’s product information. Our Chief Scientist is Bill Pease, an expert in chemical risk assessment and creator of the web’s top pollution information resource, scorecard.org. His science team includes specialists in life cycle assessment, environmental engineering, chemistry, nutrition and sociology. Together we are working to acquire and compile high quality data, which we then organize and transform into actionable information for consumers.
There’s a lot of messed up stuff that goes on out there in the free market. Instead of relying on laws and regulations to keep things in line, one of the things that we can do as consumers is to wield our dollars. Every time you buy something, you send a message: “Hey, product manufacturer–this is a thing that people want. Keep doing what you’re doing.” If you can afford it, do some research and support brands that operate responsibly. Voting with your dollars is a really easy way do some good.Read More