The Home Depot has introduced a new product line, called Eco Options, designed to highlight environmentally-friendly products to its consumer base. Three of the categories included in the launch are “Healthy Home,” “Clean Air” and “Clean Water,” all of which sound like a natural fit for our industry. For example, Phase One of the program includes a line of organic herbs and veggies from Bonnie Plant Farm. According to longtime Depot buyer and hort industry consultant Vinny Naab, Bonnie Plant Farm is to participate in the eco-options program from March to June in select Home Depot markets with one SKU of these Organic products.
According to Depot VP in charge of environmental projects Ron Jarvis, “Although it is a natural fit, there is not a standard that highlights environmental benefits between live plants.” While Jarvis is clear in stating that “In the short term the Eco Options program will highlight organics,” he also says that Depot has plans to roll out Phase Two of the Eco Options in 2008—a phase that will include more plant products (such as the possible inclusion of native plants in the Clean Water category) and even potential partnerships with like-minded green industry programs. For instance, when asked if items such as native plants and green roofs would be highlighted in the Clean Water product category, Jarvis answered “Yes, but it will be the second phase in 2008.”
Longtime Depot buyer and hort industry consultant Vinny Naab:
“I think the consumer is more ready to embrace these types of products than ever before. The key to success in this arena till now has been the challenge of giving the consumer similar values than those of less “eco-friendly” products. Our industry is positioned practically like no other to hit the targeted consumer. Innovation in this area should lead to incremental sales.”
Depot grower/vendor Gary Mangum:
“My feeling is that THD is very committed to providing a wide range of products that are environmentally sensitive. I don’t pretend to know anything about the behind the scenes discussions or initiatives–but based on what I have read, there should be serious benefits that could accrue to the livegoods side of the business, long term.
I would love to see THD partner with the Plants at Work organization in a way that would pull potential customers into THD, and provide the Plants at Work organization a very strong national partner. The new PAW addition of “& at Home” should provide a very logical tie in.
There is no better “Green” product than a living tree, foliage plant, or Pansy that sucks up pollutants of every description, and turns them into oxygen. Depot continues to be my favorite customer and my favorite place to shop. I can clearly see being drawn to products with the Eco labeling.”
From The Home Depot’s Web site: (Click here for link)
As a company, The Home Depot is committed to conserving and preserving the earth’s natural resources. We’re dedicated to making communities a better place for generations to come. The Home Depot is continuing its environmental presence with the introduction of Eco Options: products that make it easy for you to make a difference, one choice at a time.
Eco Options is designed to give you environmentally friendly product options for your home and home improvement needs. Every product with the Eco Options label has less of an impact on the environment than conventional products. Specifically, Eco Options products offer one or more of the following benefits:
- Sustainable Forestry
- Energy Efficiency
- Clean Water
- Clean Air
- Healthy Home
The Home Depot is working closely with vendors and independent experts to bring new and innovative environmentally friendly products to our customers. Continuing through 2007, products that meet the criteria will be tagged with the Eco Options logo, making it easy for you to spot these environmentally friendly product options.
(Source: The Home Depot)