Thursday, August 20, 2009

How do you tell if something is really Green? Part 1

Everone can tell their products are green by adding the appropriate buzz words.
This product is "organically" grown. It is "environmentally friendly" or "natural".
That is all well and good, but there has to be some organization that overlooks this. Who determines that a product is truly green? How would any one know if a product is truly green or not?
There are, however, independent organizations out there that provide certifications for products and services. Many of which have been created by or are chaired by scientists and business owners who want to legitimize the industry standards for producing green products and services.
These organizations create the standards by which a product must live up to in order to be certified. Some even have levels of certification that can range from bronze to platinum.
So who are these organizations?

  • In the building industry there is the LEED certification which is administered via the US Green Building Council. LEED, which stands for Leadership in Energy and Environmental Design, is a third-party certification program and the nationally accepted benchmark for the design, construction and operation of high performance green buildings.
  • ENERGY STAR is a joint program of the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency and the U.S. Department of Energy helping us all save money and protect the environment through energy efficient products and practices.
  • Green Seal provides science-based environmental certification standards to a wide variety of consumer products.
  • FSC is an independent, non-governmental, not-for-profit organization established to promote the responsible management of the world’s forests.
  • The GREENGUARD Environmental Institute (GEI) is an industry-independent, non-profit organization that oversees the GREENGUARD Certification ProgramSM. As an ANSI Authorized Standards Developer, GEI establishes acceptable indoor air standards for indoor products, environments, and buildings.

This is a good list. I will have to continue on with this list in my next post.

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