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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.

FSC Certified
Forest Stewardship Council (FSC) Certified products enable consumers to meet their current needs without sacrificing the future health of the world’s forests. Over the past two decades, FSC has become recognized as the most thorough and credible forest certification system through the development of 10 principles and 57 criteria that apply to all FSC-certified forests. Whether your project is looking to attain LEED certification or simply to increase the use of sustainable products, FSC-certified wood, paper, and other forest products are derived from sustainably-managed forests.

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.

WaterSense is a partnership program by the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency that offers the consumer an easy way to use less water, and save money, through the incorporation of water-efficient products and services. The WaterSense label means that those products and services are high quality and certified to be at least 20 percent more efficient without compromising performance. Choosing WaterSense fixtures can help your project team earn the Indoor Water Use Reduction Credit in LEED certification for existing buildings or help any project save water, money, and reduce environmental impact. In addition, the WaterSense website provides important tools and information designed to help you develop strategic water management plans that will benefit both the environment and the bottom line.

GREENGUARD Certification helps buyers identify interior products and materials that have low chemical emissions, which has a significant impact on indoor air quality. GREENGUARD certified products have met rigorous emissions standards, having been screened for over 10,000 chemicals, and will contribute to healthier indoor air through reduced Volatile Organic Compounds (VOCs). Indoor air can be up to five times more polluted than outdoor air when those products fail to meet the stringent standards of GREENGUARD Certification. Certified products allow the purchaser to show a commitment to healthy, high-quality interior spaces.

Green Seal
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.

NEMA Premium
In commercial, industrial, and institutional buildings electric motors have a significant impact on the total energy operating cost. The NEMA Premium label was the first specification created to assist purchasers in identifying high efficiency electric motors. NEMA Premium is based on a consensus definition created by member companies and the resulting standardization helps bring improved energy efficiency through reduced electricity consumption and improved motor systems’ reliability.

The Comprehensive Procurement Guidelines (CPG) program is a part of EPA’s ongoing intention to increase the use of recovered materials from recycling facilities. The program designates products that can be made with recycled materials and helps reduce the amount of waste sent to landfills. In addition, the guidelines recommend a set of best practices for materials’ reuse. The products range across eight categories, including construction, landscaping, paper, transportation and more.

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 Certified
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.  
SMaRT Certified
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.

SFI Standard
The Sustainable Forestry Initiative® (SFI) promotes sustainable forestry management, improved forestry practices, and responsible purchasing of forest products. The SFI Standard requires program participants to purchase wood from known and legal sources, conserve biological diversity, and promote socially sound practices. The SFI program is made up of the following components: the SFI Forest Management Standard, fiber sourcing certification, chain of custody standard, and SFI on-product labels.

RoHS Compliant
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.’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.
OMRI Listed®
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
Floor to Door shipping applies to those products that ship directly from the manufacturing floor, to your door, without first going to a distributor. Floor to Door products get to where they are needed faster, and have a reduced carbon footprint than those shipped via a traditional model because they have traveled fewer miles. Sustainable Supply ships Floor to Door and Carbon-neutral wherever possible.

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
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
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
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.
Non-Toxic Products
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.

Natural Based
A Natural Based product is one that uses ingredients that are close to the original source, produced by a living organism. Such products offer better indoor air quality, fewer risks to human health such as chemical burns, and significantly reduced risks to the health of the environment without sacrificing quality and performance. Natural based products can assist your company’s sustainable purchasing program and further demonstrate your commitment to human and environmental health.

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 Reduction
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.

Recycled Content
This designation recognizes that the product was made with recovered materials, which also prevents the need for virgin material. Using products with recycled content also allows the consumer to help conserve natural resources, potentially qualify for specific requirements of LEED certification, support a sustainable purchasing program, and meet your company’s sustainability goals.