What Makes It Green
|Cradle to Cradle Certified|
The Cradle to Cradle Certified™ product standard considers a product according to five quality categories - material health, material reutilization, renewable energy and carbon management, water stewardship, and social fairness. Cradle to Cradle Certified™ products let the consumer know at a glance whether that product meets a project’s sustainability goals by achieving basic, bronze, silver, gold, or platinum certification. For projects seeking LEED certification, Cradle to Cradle Certified™ products can help project teams earn up to two points for Materials and Resources Credit 4. For all projects, choosing Cradle to Cradle Certification™ means products proven to minimize the use and production of unhealthy substances.
|Energy Star Certified|
Energy Star is a program established by the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency that enables businesses and individuals to increase energy efficiency and thereby save money. The Energy Star certification includes whole buildings, appliances, electronics, light bulbs, and other products. In addition, the Energy Star website provides important tools and information all designed to help you develop strategic energy management plans that will benefit both the environment and bottom line.
Green Seal Certified products and services enable the consumer to demonstrate an ongoing commitment to health and the environment. The Green Seal mark shows compliance with a strict set of criteria designed to reduce the health and environmental impact of cleaning products and services and are non-toxic. Green Seal products can assist your project team in fulfilling the requirements of various credits across LEED rating systems and provide an integral part of your company’s green cleaning policy.
|CRI Green Label Plus Program|
The Carpet and Rug Institute’s Green Label Plus Program independently tests carpet, cushions, and adhesives to identify those products with very low emissions of Volatile Organic Compounds (VOCs) which have a significant impact on indoor air quality. Green Label Plus can also help your project team with LEED and/or other green building certifications and strengthen a purchasing policy committed to sustainability.
The Design for the Environment label helps consumers and commercial buyers identify products with safer chemical ingredients without sacrificing quality or performance. The label means that every ingredient in the product has been reviewed by EPA scientists and meets the rigorous criteria related to human health and the environment set forth by EPA. More than 2,000 products currently qualify for the label, enabling your company to play a role in workers’ health and protecting the environment.
EcoLogo Certification is a multi-attribute certification that speaks to the reduced environmental impact of the products, services, and packaging. This voluntary certification program examines the environmental impact over the entire lifecycle of the product and indicates it has been subjected to rigorous scientific testing in order to demonstrate compliance with tough third-party environmental performance standards. EcoLogo Certification applies to everything from building materials and furniture to cleaning products, paper products, and toys.
|UL Environment Certified|
The UL Environment Certification assists the purchaser with the recognition of sustainable products. The certification validates product claims through a robust process that includes stringent testing services with the goal of supporting customer sustainability efforts. In a market where some environmental claims lack credibility, UL Environment Certified provides assurances to the purchaser that sustainable claims are proven.
Sustainable Materials Rating Technology (SMaRT) is the consensus standard and label for sustainable products in the areas of building products, textile and flooring, fabric, and apparel covering over 80% of the world’s products with environmental, social, and economic criteria. Administered by the Institute for Market Transformation to Sustainability (MTS), SMaRT certification is transparent, consensus-based, quantified, global, includes a Life Cycle Assessment, and seeks to prevent unlawful greenwashing. SMaRT certified products can contribute to an Innovation and Design credit for various LEED rating categories.
Restriction of Hazardous Substances Compliance restricts the use of six hazardous materials found in electrical and electronic products. Businesses that sell applicable electrical or electronic products to RoHS countries directly or indirectly are impacted if they utilize any of the restricted materials.
|CarbonFund.org’s Carbonfree® Certification|
The Carbonfree® Certification Process begins with a Life-Cycle Assessment to determine the carbon footprint of your product(s), registers and certifies your product as Carbonfree®, and enables you to offset the product’s carbon footprint quarterly, based on actual sales. Offsetting your product’s carbon footprint can strengthen your company’s social responsibility and environmental goals while differentiating your brand and product.
The Organic Materials Review Institute (OMRI) is an international nonprofit organization that determines which input products are suitable for use in organic production and processing. OMRI Listed® products can be used in certified organic operations under the USDA National Organic Program and have been subjected to an expert, independent, and transparent verification process.
Floor to Door
|Energy Efficient Product|
Energy Efficient Products yield cost savings to the owner without sacrificing features or functionality. Energy Efficient Products also reduce greenhouse gas emissions which lessens the impact on the environment. In a commercial environment, the increased efficiency simply translates to improved financial performance and a strengthened commitment to the triple bottom line.
PVC Free indicates a product that has been manufactured without the use of Polyvinyl Chloride (PVC). Many significant health concerns are associated with short and long-term exposure to PVCs, including central nervous system effects (CNS) and various cancers. When sourcing a product that is PVC Free, the purchasing agent should verify that the manufacturer’s alternative represents an improvement over the PVCs.
Biodegradable products/packaging have the ability to break down, safely and quickly, by biological means, into the raw materials of nature. These products can either be solids, which break down into the soil (also referred to as compostable), or liquids, which biodegrade into water. Advantages of biodegradable products and packaging include a reduced impact on the environment, brand differentiation, and the potential to build a loyal customer base.
In a commercial setting, compostable products are those that can degrade, at a compost site, into organic materials that can offer nutrients to the soil and plants. Compostable products include paper towels, napkins, cutlery, can liners, 100% paper plates, and more. A company engaged in composting and compostable products is diverting waste from the landfill while gaining soil enrichment and fertilizer savings.
Biobased products are commercial or industrial products that are composed in whole, or in significant part, of biological products or renewable agricultural/forestry materials. Biobased products can include solvents and cleaners, paints and coatings, plastics, landscaping materials, fibers, paper, packaging, construction materials, and many more. Substituting biobased products for fossil energy based products can strengthen an organization’s green purchasing policy and contribute to U.S. energy security.
Alternative Energy is any form of energy that is not derived from fossil fuels and nuclear power. Alternative energies are considered alternatives because they could be effective future replacements for the fossil fuels and nuclear power that currently meet the majority of our energy needs. Alternative energy sources are renewable, free, and have lower carbon emissions. Examples include energy from wind, solar, biomass, geothermal, and hydroelectric.
|Made in USA|
The MADE in USA label indicates that a product is all, or virtually all, made in the United States. The label offers an at-a-glance confirmation that the product has been manufactured closer to your facility and will require less carbon emissions than that of global trade and importing. In addition, products sourced from the U.S. help support more local economies and could strengthen a company’s sustainable materials purchasing program due to the reduced impact on the environment when compared to similar, competing products imported from another country.
Toxic products such as phthalates, triclosan, chlorine, and many more can be found in numerous cleaning products and pose a variety of significant health and environmental concerns. Incorporating non-toxic alternatives in the workplace can have a significant impact on indoor air quality as well as human and environmental health. Green Seal and EcoLogo certifications are just two helpful tools a purchaser can use to quickly identify products that utilize non-toxic alternatives.
|Water Saving Product|
Products that help the consumer save water are contributing to greater building efficiency, which saves money without sacrificing quality or performance. Water saving products, including efficient plumbing fittings, fixtures, and equipment, are an integral part of strategies designed to reduce potable water use. The U.S. Environmental Protection Agency’s WaterSense Label indicates products that are 20 percent more efficient than average products of that category and perform as well or better than their less-efficient counterparts.
|Air Quality |
Products that contribute to the reduction of indoor air contaminants have significant human health benefits, improve employee comfort, and increase employee productivity. Air quality can be affected by the HVAC system, cleaning materials and procedures, maintenance activities, off-gassing from furniture and other interior products, construction, remodeling activities, and more. HVAC filters with high Minimum Efficiency Reporting Value (MERV) ratings, green cleaners, and sustainably sourced furniture products are examples of products that can help improve indoor air quality.
Waste has a direct impact on global climate change. Manufacturing, use, and disposal of various products, along with management of the waste, produces greenhouse gasses such as carbon dioxide that have a significant impact on the health of the environment. Products that include recycled content in the manufacturing process or recycling kits for lamps can help divert waste from landfills and reduce your company’s impact on the environment.