Thursday, December 30, 2010

EcoLabels & Certifications: Textile Certifications

Today's installment of Deborah Fuller's Eco-Labels and Certifications series focuses on Textile Certifications.


SMaRT/MTS –Sustainable Textile
The goals of the SMaRT Sustainable Textile Standard are to:

  • Increase the economic value of sustainable textile throughout the supply chain by enhancing market demandfor sustainable textile products.
  • Provide information that enables specifiers to sort out the complex information on sustainable attributes.
  • Identify other consensus based standards and Sustainable Textile.
  • Educate and instruct all stakeholders in the textile supplychain.
  • Encourage competition between manufacturers and their suppliers to seek out or develop environmentally preferable processes, practices, power sources, and materials.
  • This Standard is intended to help raw material suppliers, converters, manufacturers and end-users.

Contributes to: USGBC –LEED credits ID 1.1-1.4
non profit organization
www.mts.sustainableproducts.com

Crypton Green/C2C & SCS Certification
Crypton Green is the first high-performance fabric system to receive a Silver Cradle-to-Cradle™ certification as well as the SCS Gold Indoor Advantage™ certification. Chemical formulations have been optimized and the product has been thoroughly tested for emissions of VOCs (volatile organic compounds), including formaldehyde and aldehydes.

In extensive testing with SCS, Crypton Green complies to the "Collaborative for High Performance Schools,"Section 1350, a standard that specifies maximum thresholds for 80 organic compounds with possible indoor sources.

Contributes to: USGBC –LEED credits ID 1.1-1.4
for profit organization
www.cryptonfabric.com

Green Shield Finish
GreenShield is the first textile finish in the world to receive this pioneering certification from SCS.Unlike other textile finishes on the market today, GreenShield uses on average 8 times less fluorocarbon to deliver similar or better water and oil repellency performance on most fabrics. Fluorocarbons have been shown to be persistent in the environment and bio-accumulative, a term which specifically refers to the accumulation of a toxic substance in various tissues of a living organism. In this manner, compounds such as fluorocarbons can potentially be harmful to life.GreenShield is made using proprietary processes that leverage the principles of green nanotechnology to eliminate waste, reduce energy use, and use only water-based solvents.

Contributes to: USGBC –LEED credits ID 1.1-1.4
for profit organization
www.cryptonfabric.com


Check back soon for our final installment: Multiple Attribute Certifications

Friday, December 24, 2010

The Road to Paperless

I'm moving offices and in an effort to clean up my desk, I went through a couple of large filing drawers I've been dragging around for the last 6 years. I realized, with some surprise, that literally every piece of paper was not necessary to keep and could be recycled. Up until the recent past, I've feel the need to hang on to this paper. Why is it that I finally decided I could get rid of it? Is it because I'm absolutely sick of paper dust, because I am tired of the burden of dragging it around, or that I'm finally confident enough about technology that I can save what I need online? Likely it's a combination of all three, but I must say, I feel so much lighter!


I recently went through a purging effort at home too. We refinished just about every surface in our apartment and needed to move our massive book collection into our storage unit in the basement. I used this opportunity to donate roughly 95% of my books (my husband only donated about 50%). But after close to 4 months post construction, we still haven't moved them back into our living space. We're perfectly happy with a small collection of our favorites and our Kindles. Seems almost counter-intuitive given both my husband and I are authors and complete book lovers. But somehow taking all of the books away made us feel less burdened and our home feel more clean. We do have a wee too many computers/electronics, but that's next on the list ;).

Next week I'm due to have our second child. Though my nesting instincts are still pretty strong, I'm finding a strange urge to reuse as much as possible and minimize buying all that new baby stuff. I just got rid of it... I don't want to go through the process of buying it again anyway! It feels really great. I'm less worried about those runs to BuyBuyBaby and BabiesRUs and more focused on taking lots of great photos and really enjoying our new family.

So what does 2011 promise? Less stuff and more energy and dollars spent on what's really important. Cleaner and more focused workplace and home. Less is truly more. Oprah would be so proud.

Thursday, December 23, 2010

EcoLabels & Certifications: Green Housekeeping Certifications

Today's installment of Deborah Fuller's Eco-Labels and Certifications series focuses on Carpet Certifications.

Greenstar Certification

Greenstaris an independent not-for-profit organization.Its purpose is to achieve a cleaner, healthier and sustainable world through the identification and promotion of products that are produced and used in an environmentally sound manner.The health, cleanliness and sustainability of the environment can be improved through focus in the following areas:

  • Protect human health
  • Eliminate use of known or suspected carcinogens
  • Eliminate use of known or suspected toxins
  • Protect existing ecosystems
  • Minimize Ozone Depletion
  • Minimize Global Warming (Restrict the use of human introduced atmospheric carbon dioxide)
  • Eliminate production and use of products that create toxic pollution and damage or modify ecosystems
  • Conserve resources
  • Eliminate, wherever possible, the use of non-renewable resources, especially fossil based fuels and materials
  • Encourage efficient use of renewable resources, including natural materials/ingredients
  • Facilitate reduction, reuse and recycling of industrial, commercial and consumer waste

Contributes to: USGBC –LEED credits ID 1.1-1.4, EBc4.3-3.6 Cleaning Products, EBc 3.9-Pest Management
non profit organization
www.greenstarcertified.org

Green Shield Certification - Pest Control
Green Shield CertifiedSM–sustainable pest control products. Green Shield means smarter, more effective pest control without unnecessary pesticide use. Certified professionals attempt to solve the underlying cause of pest problems, providing lasting pest control buildings and other facilities.

Green Shield Certified is an independent, non-profit certification program that promotes practitioners of effective, prevention-based pest control while minimizing the use of pesticides.

Contributes to: USGBC –LEED credits ID 1.1-1.4, EBcI 3.9-Pest Mgmt
non profit organization
www.greenshieldcertified.org

GreenGuard Certification–VOC levels Green Housekeeping Products
GREENGUARD Indoor Air Quality Certified®Product certification program for housekeeping cleaning products. All GREENGUARD Certified Products have been tested for their chemical emissions performance and can be found in the GREENGUARD Online Product Guide.

Contributes to: USGBC –LEED credits ID 1.1-1.4, EBc4.3-3.6 Cleaning Products
for profit organization
www.greenguard.org

Check back soon for our next installment: Textile Certifications

Wednesday, December 22, 2010

The Greener PDF: .WWF?

The World Wildlife fund has a new document format ... .wwf. It essentially creates a PDF document that you cannot print! Download is free, and sure to create a reduced carbon footprint (and possibly some frustration if you forget it doesn't print to paper).


Thursday, December 16, 2010

EcoLabels & Certifications: Carpet Certifications

Today's installment of Deborah Fuller's Eco-Labels and Certifications series focuses on Carpet Certifications.
Carpet & Rug Institute (CRI) Green Label Plus
Today, indoor air quality (IAQ) is an important environmental consideration, especially since we spend approximately 90 percent of our time indoors. Green Label Plusis the certification standard the USGBC requires for carpet, carpet tiles, carpet pad, and adhesives to help specifies products with very low emissions of VOCs.

Contributes to: USGBC –LEED credits EQc 4.3 Carpet
non profit trade organization
www.carpet-rug.org

Floor Score
FloorScore, developed by the Resilient Floor Covering Institute (RFCI) in conjunction with Scientific Certification Systems (SCS), tests and certifies hard surface flooring and flooring adhesive products for compliance with rigorous indoor air quality emissions requirements. Individual volatile organic compounds (VOCs) are evaluated using health-based specifications. Flooring and adhesives that earn FloorScore certification earn a legitimately enhanced market position, distinguished by the FloorScore certification label.

Contributes to:USGBC –LEED credits EQ 4.3 Floor Systems
industry organization
www.rfci.com/int_floorscore

Climate Neutral - Climate Cool
The Climate Neutral Network is an alliance of companies and organizations committed to developing products, services, and enterprises that have a net-zero impact on global warming.

Climate Cool™ products or services are determined to completely offset the greenhouse
gases generated across each stage of their life-cycle including the sourcing of its materials, its manufacturing or production, its distribution, use, and ultimate end-of-life disposition.

NOTE: Climate Neutral Network is currently transferring to another non-profit and is not accepting any product certifications

Contributes to: USGBC –LEED credits ID 1.1-1.4
www.climateneutralnetwork.com

NSF –140-2007 Sustainable Carpet Standard
The Carpet and Rug Institute (CRI) set out to provide the commercial market with a single easy-rating certification system for carpet and rugs. With the assistance of NSF International, a leader in standards development and product certification, a Sustainable Carpet Assessment Standard was created. This standard for carpet includes a rating system with established performance requirements and quantifiable metrics energy and energy efficiency; bio-based, recycled content materials; environmentally preferable materials; manufacturing; and reclamation and end-of-life management.

NSF 140 was designed to establish a system with varying levels of certification to define sustainable carpet. This establishes performance requirements for public health and environment, and addresses the triple bottom line –economic-environmental-social, throughout the supply chain.

NFS 140 is the first multi-attribute American National Standards Institute (ANSI) standard for environmentally preferable building materials in the construction industry.

www.nsf.org

SCAS Carpet Standard
Carpet must represent at least 2.5% of the total project material cost for Gold certified styles and at least 1.25% of the total project mater Sustainable Carpet Innovation Credit The Sustainable Carpet Assessment Standard (SCAS or NSF-140-2005) SCAS makes specifying green carpet beyond recycled content easy. It is the only carpet sustainability standard in North America that evaluates the environmental impacts of carpet for its entire lifecycle, from manufacturing to reclamation, renewable energy use to social equity.

Note: SCS Sustainable Choice certification signifies compliance to the SCAS Standard (NSF-140-2005).

Check back soon for our next installment: Green Housekeeping Certifications

Thursday, December 9, 2010

EcoLabels & Certifications: Energy Performance Certifications

Today's installment of Deborah Fuller's Eco-Labels and Certifications series focuses on Energy Performance Certifications.


Energy Star
Energy Star is a joint program of the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency and the U.S. Department of Energy that promotes energy efficient products and practices to identify and promote energy efficient products to reduce greenhouse gas emissions. In 1996 the EPA partnered with the US Dept. of Energy for particular product categories. Energy Star Ratings are available on lighting products, appliances, equipment, electronics, HVAC equipment, homes, buildings and low standby energy use.

Contributes to: USGBC –LEED credits EAc1 Optimize Energy Performance, EAc1.4 Appliances & Equipment, SSc1 Optimize Energy Performance, EAc1 Optimize Energy Performance, EAc1 Optimize Energy, Performance
Energy Star is a government organization (US)
www.energystar.gov


Cool Roof Ratings Council
The Cool Roof Rating Council (CRRC) is an independent, non-profit organization that maintains a third-party rating system for radiative properties of roof surfacing materials.

The core of the CRRC is its Product Rating Program through which roofing product manufacturers can label their products with solar reflectance and thermal emittance values, measured by CRRC Accredited Independent Testing Laboratories.

Contributes to: USGBC –LEED credits SSc1 Opt 1E Heat Island Effect Roof, SSc7.2 Heat Island Effect Roof
CRRC is a non profit organization
www.coolroofs.org


Water Sense Label
Modeled after Energy Star, the EPA’s WaterSense program seeks to educate consumers about water efficiency through an easily identifiable label. Products bearing the label are generally 20% more water-efficient than similar products in the marketplace and must be independently tested before qualifying for the label.WaterSenserequires all products bearing the WaterSense label to be independently certified. Certification provides consumers with confidence in both the efficiency and performance of WaterSense labeled products.

NOTE: this is not a certification but an EPA label that verifies high efficient plumbing products.

Water Sense is a government organization
www.epa.gov/watersense


Green-e
Green-e is the nation's leading independent consumer protection program for the sale of renewable energy and greenhouse gas reductions in the retail market. Green-e offers certification and verification of renewable energy and greenhouse gas mitigation products. It is a voluntary consumer-protection program that verifies superior, certified renewable energy options offered by utilities and marketers in the retail market.
Sets minimum consumer and environmental protection standards that bolster consumer confidence and market credibility and ensure the healthy growth of voluntary green power markets nationally. Certifies products in three types of markets: competitive retail electricity providers, monopoly utility green pricing, and renewable energy certificate markets

Contributes to: USGBC –LEED credits EAc4 Green Power, EB EAc 4 Renewable Power
Green-e is a non profit organization
www.green-e.org


Cleaner and Greener Certification
The Cleaner and Greener Program helps companies and organizations quantify their emissions footprint, calculate emission reductions from energy efficiency and other emission reduction projects, offset emissions, and certify the level of emission reductions and offsets.

Cleaner and Greener Certification is a program of Leonardo Academy, a charitable foundation dedicated to putting the competitive markets to work on reducing environmental emissions.
This is important because about 65%-85% of all energy use in the US comes from product production, delivery, & use (Green Energy, Leonardo Academy 1998).

Contributes to: USGBC –LEED credits EBc 5.4 Performance Measurement, Emission
Reduction
Cleaner and Greener is a non profit organization
www.cleanerandgreener.org


Climate Neutral –Climate Cool
The Climate Neutral Network is an alliance of companies and organizations committed to developing products, services, and enterprises that have a net-zero impact on global warming.

Climate Cool™ products or services are determined to completely offset the greenhouse
gases generated across each stage of their life-cycle including the sourcing of its materials, its manufacturing or production, its distribution, use, and ultimate end-of-life disposition.

NOTE: Climate Neutral Network is currently transferring to another non-profit and is not accepting any product certifications

Contributes to: USGBC –LEED credits ID 1.1-1.4
www.climateneutralnetwork.com

Check back soon for the next installment: Carpet Certifications

Thursday, December 2, 2010

EcoLabels & Certifications: Furniture Certifications

Today's installment of Deborah Fuller's Eco-Labels and Certifications series focuses on Wood Forestry Certifications.


GreenGuard Certification–VOC levels in Furniture
GREENGUARD Indoor Air Quality Certified®: Product certification program for low emitting interior building materials, furnishings, and finish systems. All GREENGUARD Certified Products have been tested for their chemical emissions performance and can be found in the GREENGUARD Online Product Guide.

GREENGUARD for Children & SchoolsSM:Product certification program for low emitting interior building materials, furnishings,and finish systems used in educational, office and other sensitive environments. All GREENGUARD Children & Schools products have been tested for their chemical emissions performance according to CA 1350 and can be found in the GREENGUARD Online Product Guide.

Contributes to: USGBC - LEED credits MRc4.5 Sys. Furn & Seating, ID 1.1-1.4 , EB MRc 2.2 Furniture
Green Guard is a for profit organization
www.greenguard.org

SCS–Certified/BIFMA Standards
SCS Certified -Furniture brings a new level of verified environmental performance to furniture certification. Based on both environmental and social criteria set forth in the

BIFMA Sustainability Standard (BIFMA SS), a product’s entire supply chain is assessed to insure that the product meets measurable milestones of environmental performance at every step of development. SCS Sustainable Choice Certification includes an evaluation of specific corporate policies and guidelines and an assessment of associated company manufacturing facilities. Products must meet rigorous, quantitative criteria in four categories: materials, energy and atmosphere, human and ecosystem health, and social responsibility.

Certification verifies a manufacturer’s commitment to environmentally and socially responsible products and business practices.

Contributes to: USGBC –LEED credits MRc4.1 –Recycled Content, MRc4.2 –Recycled Content, MRc6 –Rapid Renewable, MRc7 –Certified Wood, EQc4.5 –Furniture, ID 1.1-4 Innovation In Design
SCS is a for profit organization
www.scscertified.com

BIFMA Level Certification
level is a multi-attribute, sustainability standard and third-party certification program for the furniture industry. It has been created to deliver the most open and transparent means of evaluating and communicating the environmental and social impacts of furniture products in the built environment. Products are evaluated and rated based on the following:

  • Climate Neutral Products
  • Life Cycle Analysis
  • Effective Use of Materials
  • Rapidly Renewable Materials
  • Recycled & Biodegradable Materials
  • Bio based Materials/Sustainable Wood
  • Buy Back/Take Back Policy
  • Water Management
  • Human and Ecosystem Health
  • Socially Responsible

Contributes to:USGBC –LEED credits MRc4.1 –Recycled Content, MRc4.2 –Recycled Content, MRc6 –Rapid Renewable, MRc7 –Certified Wood, EQc4.5 –Furniture, ID 1.1-4 Innovation In Design
BIFMA is a for profit organization
www.scscertified.com

SCS Indoor Advantage Gold
The emphasis on individual VOCs rather than on total VOC concentration is one of the features that distinguish the SCS Indoor Advantage™ Gold program. The health risks associated with individual VOCs vary, making some more of a concern than others. Likewise, this emphasis on individual VOCs encourages manufacturers to identify and address the sources of chemical contaminants in their manufacturing process and enables them to establish specifications for the materials and components they purchase.

Contributes to: USGBC –LEED credits EQ 4.5 Furniture, ID 1.1-1.4
SCS is a for profit organization
www.scscertified.com

Check back soon for the next installment: Energy Performance Certifications

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