Author Archives: debra

Global GreenTag International Opens Office in Mainland China – Partnering With Ecosafene Products Technical Service

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Global GreenTag International has partnered with Ecosafene Products Technical Service Co., Ltd. to conduct business operations in Mainland China, Taiwan and Hong Kong.  Ecosafene is one of the leading companies based in Mainland China engaged in the testing, facilitation and certification of various products for fire safety and environmentally-friendly products.

It is an exciting time for Global GreenTag, says David Baggs, Global GreenTag International’s CEO and Program Director. “Mainland China has a five year plan to create a green, low-carbon construction industry and we have been working towards this venture with Ecosafene for almost a year to be a part of this positive road that Mainland China is pursuing.

“We can now commence in earnest our roll out strategy to support the promotion of GreenTag certified Manufacturers into Mainland China, Hong Kong and Taiwan and add to our growing list of progressive manufacturers from the region with Global GreenTag certified products onto the world market.  Establishing a Global GreenTag presence on the ground in the region is going to significantly elevate awareness of the Global GreenTag International Certification Standard and Mark.”

Cricket Liu, Technical Director of Ecosafene Products Technical Service also welcomes the new partnership.  The strength of Global GreenTag certification, he says, is its reputation, accreditation and strong focus on the protection of the environment and human health, and this is key for Mainland China right now.

“The green products market in Mainland China is growing at a high speed because we do care about the environment.  And not only the Chinese government is leading this movement but also business enterprises as well. More and more people today care about having green products in their lives,” says Cricket.

Ecosafene now looks forward to helping to promote existing products that are certified with Global GreenTag International and work closely with manufacturers to facilitate certification and help them understand how it will support their export efforts also.

“Ecosafene understands the market well and what manufacturers will need to help them obtain more business in Mainland China, Taiwan and Hong Kong. It will serve manufacturers better that they have a local service with international benefits and in terms of communication save a lot of time and energy,” says Cricket.

Ecosafene will also be working to support more progressive manufacturers in the region to have their green products Global GreenTag certified.

“Many manufacturers are already adapting their processes to more sustainable practices, through the use of recycled and green materials, by having testing to insure that there is non-harmful composition in their products and also by adopting energy saving technologies,” says Cricket.

In partnership with Global GreenTag International, we look forward also to introducing greater knowledge to the  manufacturing market in terms of value of the Environmental Product Declaration (EPD) and Product Health Declaration (PhD). This level of service is still very new in Mainland China, says Cricket, “which is why Ecosafene and Global GreenTag will be devoting time to educating more manufacturers as well to help them improve the quality of their processes to better protect the environment and human health.”

“Educating the market about the EPD and PhD will be a significant step, and especially when you consider that Mainland China is one of the biggest product manufacturing bases in the world.  Mainland China will not only benefit from this, but the rest of the world will too,” says Cricket.

If you would like to enquire further about GreenTag certification of products in Mainland China, Taiwan and Hong Kong, or how Global GreenTag certification can create access to green projects globally, please click on one of the contacts below.

(Located in Mainland China, Taiwan or Hong Kong? Contact Cricket Liu)

(Located outside of Mainland China, Taiwan or Hong Kong? Contact Dr Judy Luo)

WELL® Building Standard ‘Equivalencies’ for Products with Global GreenTag Certificates will ROLL OUT IN JANUARY

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The organisation for bringing healthy Global GreenTag certified building and interiors products comprehensively and transparently into alignment with the WELL® tool has officially begun.

As of January 1, 2018, all GreenTag International Standard version 4.0 Certified Products will have relevant WELLTM Building Standard Equivalency recognition/s included on their Global GreenTag Certificates.

For equivalencies that require the Global GreenTag Product Health DeclarationTM (PhDTM ), the WELLTM equivalencies won’t be added to a certificate, unless there is also a PhDTM available.  Hence from January, if people see a new product certificate, dated 2018 without WELL® Building Standard equivalencies, they will know that the product is not currently relevant to WELL®; and, if they see a certification with WELL® equivalence, it will tell them (where relevant) if it needs a PhDTM certificate as well, to comply with the WELLTM Feature requirements.

“Manufacturers with products certified with Global GreenTag and with PhDs have a lot to look forward to in the New Year as the full scope of WELL ‘equivalencies’ for GreenTag certified products comes into play,” says David Baggs, Global GreenTag’s CEO and Program Director.

“The WELL® standard is moving very fast into the market and having a big impact on products and procurement. There will also likely be further updates in 2018, which we will announce to manufacturers as they unfold.”

Meanwhile, Global GreenTag Certified products with PhDs now have the opportunity to step more easily into the rapidly expanding Australian WELL® market but also the USA and 30+ other countries where WELL® projects have a significant presence.  “In Australia alone, the International WELL Building Institute already has forged strong partnerships with companies like DEXUS, CBRE, Mirvac, CBUS Properties and Lend Lease … it’s a promising time for manufacturers with GreenTag certified products,” says David.

MOVE INTO THE WELL™ MARKET

How Global GreenTagCertTM Fits With WELL®

WELL® does not use a points system, a project achieves ‘Features’ or not. For systems not included in the original Guide, an ‘Equivalency’ system is used for recognition of additional certification systems.

The following Features relate to Global GreenTag:

Feature 04 VOC Reduction (Equivalency Approved)

  • PART 1: Interior Paints and Coatings
  • PART 2: Interior Adhesives and Sealants
  • PART 3: Flooring
  • PART 4: Insulation
  • PART 5: Furniture and Furnishings

Feature 11 Fundamental Material Safety (Equivalency Approved)

  • PART 1a: Asbestos & Lead Restriction

Feature 26 Enhanced Material Safety (Equivalency Approved)

Feature 97 Material Transparency (Equivalency Approved)

  • PART 1: Precautionary Material Selection

Equivalency with other Features has been applied for and are in process..stay tuned!

READ MORE TO BE WELL® ALIGNED

To celebrate the new WELL® recognition, Global GreenTag has decided to ‘Share the Health’ with product manufacturers by offering PhDsTMfree of charge* with new or v4.0 upgrade certifications for the month of December. Health is the core deliverable in the WELL® equivalencies, and our PhDs make healthy products instantly recognisable

HOW TO APPLY FOR THE Free PhDTM Offer*

WELL® Building Standard ‘Equivalencies’ awarded to Global GreenTag International

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Global GreenTag Certification has now formally stepped into the WELL® Building Standard ‘Equivalency’ recognition status, which means Global GreenTag Certified products with Product Health Declarations (PhDs) will now have an opportunity to step more easily into the rapidly expanding Australian WELL® market but also the USA and 30+ other countries where WELL® projects have a significant presence.

To celebrate this new WELL® recognition, Global GreenTag has decided to ‘Share the Health’ with product manufacturers by offering PhDsTMfree of charge* with new or v4.0 upgrade certifications for the month of December. “Health is the core deliverable in the WELL® equivalencies, and our PhDs make health products instantly recognisable,” says David Baggs, CEO and Program Director of Global GreenTag International.

“WELL®  is a leading tool for advancing health and well-being in buildings globally and we have decided that it is important to help manufacturers get ready to enter WELL®  projects and as fast as possible by adding a Global GreenTag PhDTM to products, which meet certain requirements.”

“To make this possible, Global GreenTag has decided to open a limited time window to apply for the Free PhDTM Offer* starting from today, December 1st until December 22nd, 2017. We are excited to offer this opportunity to assist manufacturers who are keen to submit their products for projects under the WELL® Building Standard. This move also supports WELL® Professionals implement the Standard more quickly and easily,” David said.

Products that will be accepted for Global GreenTag PhDTM certification upgrade can fall into the following categories:

  • Products with current re-certification invoices that commit to re-certification under v.4.0 (no upgrade cost involved either);
  • Any products currently certified under GreenTag International Standard v3.2 that are submitted for upgrade to v.4.0 between December 1st and December 22nd;
  • All products currently under proposal for Global GreenTag certification but not yet accepted;
  • New products that are submitted, accepted and invoiced for certification between December 1 and December 22, 2017 and paid by Jan 31st

Manufacturers who wish to apply for the free PhDTM upgrade are invited to email their application to Brett Hazlett: manufacturers@globalgreentag.com

*Application for the Free PhDTM Offer must be made between December 1st and December 22nd  2017 and will be subject to normal product renewal/recertification processes from the first anniversary of certification.

  • 1 Free PhDTM Offer per manufacturer.
  • Years 2 & 3 renewal will be invoiced at the completion of 1 year or on the renewal/recertification anniversary; whichever comes first.
  • The Free offer relates to year 1 of the 3 year cycle for a PhD
  • Additional fees or charges may be required to upgrade from version 3.2 to version 4.0

Australian Modern Slavery Act – Global GreenTag Pledges Support

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A coalition of organisations, including Global GreenTag, has released a Statement of Support for the development of legislation to combat Modern Slavery.

According to the Global Slavery Index, modern slavery is a significant global human rights issue with an estimated 40 million people living in some form of modern slavery around the world, including human trafficking, servitude, child labour, sex trafficking, forced labour and debt bondage.

Australia is not immune with an estimated 4,300 people living under modern slavery conditions.

The Australian Government, through a joint-standing committee is investigating legislation to combat Modern Slavery with the intention of introducing legislation that will make it a requirement for large companies to investigate and report on modern slavery in their operations and supply chains.

It is an important initiative that every company should get behind, says David Baggs, CEO of Global GreenTag.

“We have vested ethical interest as a highly transparent, product certification label. Just as we are driven to protect and preserve the environment and earth’s natural systems and resources, Global GreenTag is also committed as part of its certification standard to assess protection policies and measures for the protection of people who both work with or who are affected by manufacturing processes and all along the product supply chain. We are very pleased to support for the establishment of a Modern Slavery Act in Australia.”

Edward Santow, the Human Rights Commissioner says the Statement of Support is intended to assist the reform processes and provide guiding principles; including transparency, accountability, victim support and leadership. He says:

“This Statement is significant because it brings together a diverse group of leaders from the Australian business community, civil society, the religious community and academia.

“As leaders, we support a unified approach in addressing modern slavery. This is the only way that real change can take place.”

The Statement of Support was released at the end of October and says a Modern Slavery Act should be aligned with and reinforce the United Nations Guiding Principles on Business and Human Rights.

It says clear guidance and support should be provided for organisations that find modern slavery in their operations or supply chains. It says there should be access to appropriate information, remedies and support for victims.

The Signatories of the Statement of Support for an Australian Modern Slavery Act are:

Anti-Slavery Australia UTS
Ausbil
Australian Catholic Religious Against Trafficking in Humans
Australian Human Rights Commission
Business and Human Rights Resource Centre
Global Green Tag
Green Building Council Australia
Supply Chain Sustainability School
Uniting Church in Australia – Synod of Victoria & Tasmania
The Freedom Partnership
UNSW Law & Australian Human Rights Institute
WEstjustice

For More information, Download

2017 Statement of Support for Australian Modern Slavery Act

2017 Statement of Support for an Australian Modern Slavery Act

 

Green Star AFRICA! Global GreenTag ALL READY TO GO!

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The Green Building Council of South Africa (GBCSA) is now licenced to certify green buildings throughout the African continent with their building rating system now rebranded Green Star Africa. This is very exciting news for all of our manufacturers as the green building movement gathers even more momentum across the African continent.

Currently, products certified under the Global GreenTag GreenRateTM and LCARateTM programs in South Africa are recognised by the Green Building Council of South Africa. Global GreenTag International already has the capability and is already working on converting products certified under Global GreenTag and migrating these certifications for compliance on Green Star projects in South Africa.  “With Green Star Africa rolling out, we are in the greatest position to be even more relevant on the African continent,” says Global GreenTag International CEO David Baggs.

“This potentially means more and more opportunities for our manufacturers to market more seamlessly their certified products throughout Africa. It’s a great move by the GBCSA. Our continued business presence on the ground in South Africa has been well worth the time that we have invested in to participating in and helping to support the growth of the green building movement in Africa. We can all now look forward to watching how the African regional Green Building Councils develop further their vision for greener projects across the entire continent. We can assure you that Global GreenTag has every intention to develop its relationships with those councils as they proceed.”

GBCSA’s sustainability rating scheme was originally developed by the Green Building Council Australia (GBCA) and licensed to the GBCSA in 2008 for use in South Africa. The new licence agreement allows the GBCSA, in collaboration with the seven other African green building councils (in Ghana, Kenya, Mauritius, Namibia, Rwanda, Tanzania and Zambia) to sub-licence and use Green Star with their Local Context Report to certify buildings in their respective countries.

The GBCSA has actually been certifying green buildings across Africa outside of South Africa since 2014 in collaboration with local councils, allowing for adaptation of the Green Star SA tools for certification in their respective countries, said Thulani Kuzwayo, Regional Chair of the Africa Regional Network of green building councils in a recent statement.
“There are Green Star certified buildings already in Ghana, Rwanda, Namibia and Kenya, with upcoming registered projects in Nigeria, Uganda, Tanzania and Mauritius to follow. It is fitting that the Green Star rating system name now encompasses the entire continent aZambias the green building movement goes from strength to strength in the region.”

What will this mean for existing Global GreenTag certified products, as the new Green Star Africa tool takes effect in different Green Building Council regions throughout Africa?

 

David Baggs says that Global GreenTag expect further amendments to unfold with the use of the Green Star Africa tool in different regions but is confident that product certification conversions should not be too difficult.

“Interior fitout products already certified in Australia are easily converted to meet the Green Star SA Interiors Tool requirements set out by the Green Building Council of South Africa. For the rest of the African continent, as they take on the new Design and As Built rating tool, GreenTag certified products will more than likely be recognised also, in addition to the current INTERIORS rating tool.”

Currently, both Global GreenTag GreenRate and LCARate certification has been recognised by the Green Building Council of South Africa (GBCSA) as a product certification standard for the Materials Fit out Calculator in Green Star SA Interiors Rating Tool. It does however require an interpretive evaluation against the GBCSA recognition criteria and issuing of a separate GBCSA Rating certificate. The GreenTag GBCSA Rating certificates are recognised for certifying interiors fitout, consisting of four categories: Furniture, Assemblies, Flooring and Wall Coverings.

Romilly Madew, CEO of the Green Building Council of Australia recently stated that “the growth of green buildings in Africa and involvement of the industry is truly inspirational and the GBCSA has driven a new way of thinking about green buildings – one which captures the benefits of green building not only for the environment, but for people too.”

“Building rating systems are one of the most powerful mechanisms to drive positive change and market transformation, and to build better places for people too. I’m optimistic that this new era for Green Star will help other countries in Africa to achieve success too.”

Located in Africa? Contact Lizette Swanevelder: lizette@globalgreentag.com

 

Located outside of Africa? Contact David Baggs: david.baggs@globalgreentag.com

Reducing the Risks Using Certified Products To Help Beat NZ’s Costly Health Problems With Leaky Buildings And Other Sick Building Issues

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Health issues connected with Sick Building Syndrome in New Zealand have received prominence as more medical claims come forward from people with health problems  linked to leaky, mouldy and damp buildings. It’s a pressing national issue already highlighted by BRANZ through air quality studies conducted in New Zealand homes and schools and also as a huge and costly problem for the NZ economy.

Sub-par building practices have been largely blamed for leaky building problems but the use of “cheaper, uncertified building products and materials are also a lurking culprit,” claims David Baggs, CEO and Program Director of the Global GreenTag product certification system who will be presenting on November 2 a workshop at Auckland Build 2017 on the issue.

Early this year, Global GreenTag introduced onto the market a new Product Health DeclarationTM   (PhD) tool that will be of great value to New Zealand building professionals on future projects and be taking sick building issues – head on.  David is going to be showing Auckland Build how the new product health tool will help professionals:

  • Make distinctions confidently between products that are safer for human health and those that are not.
  • Communicate health related product decisions to clients and building occupiers with a lot more ease for everyone’s peace of mind.

Unfortunately, says David, leaky buildings and their negative health impacts – most prominently asthma – are just one issue that can be product linked.  Sick Building Syndrome is everywhere.  “As building product certifiers, we have known for a long time that product toxicity found in buildings is a very real cause behind a range of human health problems – even to unborn babies – including cancer, hormone disruption, asthma, allergies, chronic fatigue and many other toxicity related illnesses.”

An ‘indoor environment’ study, published last year by the American Chemical Society, found a concerning combination of chemicals  present and leaching or gassing off from products that people take in daily through their skin and airways in a range of typical indoor scenarios.

“It would help greatly if more governments mandated strict product certification to help curb the problem of sub-par building products becoming health issues – but the solutions are there,” says David.

GreenTag’s PhD is the first health transparency tool globally to assess the health impacts of the final product – and not just the hazards of the ingredients.  At Auckland Build, David will expand further on:

  • How products will be rated under the PhD tool
  • How the tool will work with building rating schemes like the Green Building Council of New Zealand’s Green Star tool as well as support designers attempting to rate projects through other rating tools with a health focus.
  • How building professionals will be able to use the tool in other ways to their advantage.

David Baggs will be speaking at Auckland Build 2017 on November 2 from 1:20 pm – 2:10 pm   Workshop Area 02 

Register for free HERE

Vietnam’s Updated LOTUS Rating Tool Opens Door for Global GreenTag International Certified Products

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The Vietnam Green Building Council (VGBC) has officially recognised both Global GreenTag International’s Certification Schemes and hence all GreenTag Certified products under the council’s new LOTUS Rating System and has already officially listed them in the LOTUS technical manual.

David Baggs, CEO of Global GreenTag and Program Director of the Global GreenTagCertTM certification program, welcomes the new development for GreenTag certified manufacturers.

“It is exciting to be a part of the VGBC’s dedication to evolve the green building industry in Vietnam,” says David. “We have managed to go from unrecognised to a recognised ecolabel in the VGBC LOTUS rating tool in record time.”

“The VGBC is very passionate about green products and green building. We were very impressed with the speed and efficiency on the part of Xavier Leulliette, Technical Manager for VGBC in the evaluation of the alignment of the GreenTag Schemes with the LOTUS system and the inherent recognition of how the plentiful availability of GreenTag certified products can enhance the application of the LOTUS Tools.  But more exciting for us is that LOTUS is now the first rating tool in the Asia Pacific to formally recognise LCARate Platinum, Gold, Silver and Bronze tiers via variable credit points.  Even though the Green Building Council of South Africa recognises LCARate tiers within their rating system, the LOTUS program uniquely and explicitly recognises them and apply points differentially.”

This is validating news for manufacturers who have gone the stretch to have their products assessed through Global GreenTag’s LCARate™ system that now have higher outcomes for certification plus Environmental Product Declarations (EPDs) .

Essentially, the VGBC has noted that products certified under ecolabels evaluating the whole lifecycle are greener and they want to support this.

Indeed, Xavier Leulliette, Technical Manager for VGBC has stated to David that products with LCARate “show a higher commitment from manufacturers and should be rewarded more than products with only an EPD produced.”  He expanded on this point, saying:

“EPDs in themselves do not mean any product is sustainable or not. In fact, EPDs are more and more being used by Business as Usual products in lieu of having to meet the higher standards of third party certification  … Under the LOTUS scheme, this needs to be addressed and we will clearly encourage product certification over EPDs.”

VGBC has announced the recognition in the release of two new versions of both LOTUS Interiors and LOTUS Small Interiors.

Global GreenTag product categories recognised and listed in manuals by the LOTUS system will include:

  • many low-VOC surface finishes and joinery products
  • the majority of Interiors fitout and finishes products
  • environmentally preferred cleaning products.

The credits are as follows:

M-1 Sustainable Materials

This credit takes into account all the following materials:

  • Walls and partitions (non-load bearing space dividers)
  • Ceilings and floorings
  • Toilet partitions; shower partitions including shower screens
  • Internal stairs
  • Wall coverings, such as ceramic tiles.
  • Skirting
  • Select sustainable furniture products

M-2 Sustainable Furniture Products

The following types of furniture products are included in the scope of this credit:

  • Seatings (chairs, stools, benches, etc.)
  • Surfaces (tables, desks, etc.)
  • Storage units (cabinets, lockers, dressers, closets, chess, bookcases, pantries, etc.)
  • Work settings (workbench or workstation).
  • Storage, shelving and screening elements which form part of the work setting, cannot be dissociated from the work setting.

H-3 Low-VOC Emissions Products

Low-VOC emission and low-formaldehyde emission products including:

  • Paints and coatings
  • Adhesives and sealants
  • Flooring
  • Composite wood
  • Ceilings, partitions and insulation

H-6 Green Cleaning

The use of environmentally friendly cleaning products and procedures.

Keeping Your Information Private While Going Transparent

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As a rigorous certification body, Global GreenTag is fully compliant with international standards of organisation to protect the information of manufacturers who make the decision to have their progressive product and manufacturing processes assessed, rated and certified.

Global GreenTag International Pty Ltd and its related country licensed companies are committed to providing quality services to manufacturers and  maintaining strict systems to safeguarding all information provided, says Shloka Ashar, Lead Assessor with the Global GreenTag Certification Team, and this includes a Privacy Policy that is in place also to protect the personal information that Global GreenTag obtains via its website and newsletter subscription services but also as required by manufacturers and sales or consulting associates who are engaged within or around the Global GreenTag certification program.

Global GreenTag adopts National Privacy Principles, which are contained in the Privacy Act 1988. These principles govern the way in which all Global GreenTag staff, including the assessment team employ to collect, use, disclose, store, secure and dispose of Personal Information.  The information is primarily used to provide services, updated information and relevant news that may be of interest.

“We run a very tight ship at GreenTag,” says Shloka. “We take our responsibility to both assess and rate products, to protect sensitive industrial information and also personal information very seriously.  As a certification body, we must uphold standards constantly.”

Global GreenTag Program Director and CEO David Baggs adds to this, “Manufacturers that submit confidential data for assessment and individuals providing contact details can be assured their IP and information is safe with Global GreenTag. We retain data storage off site in one of the most digitally secure IT environments on the planet. Data is fully ‘next level’ encrypted and secure from the moment of inception, during transfer and while stored, meaning data is most likely safer on our servers than on yours’,” he said.

Global GreenTag Manufacturers Applauded by Vinyl Council of Australia

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Global GreenTag Certified Manufacturers Karndean Flooring and Tarkett Australia have both been named in the Top Nine Companies in 2016 for Excellence in PVC Product Stewardship by the Vinyl Council of Australia.

“This is fantastic recognition for both manufacturers. Both are recognised for what Global GreenTag has certified as best practices within Australia’s PVC supply chain,” says David Baggs, Global GreenTag’s CEO and Program Director.

44 signatory companies from all parts of the PVC value chain, including overseas resin producers, raw material manufacturers and suppliers, trading companies, product manufacturers and distributors are drawn upon to feed into the PVC Stewardship Program, overseen by the Vinyl Council of Australia.  A total of nine companies, including Karndean and Tarkett achieved full compliance with all relevant commitments:

  • Best Practice Manufacturing,
  • Safe and Sustainable Use of Additives,
  • Energy and Greenhouse Gas Emissions,
  • Resource Efficiency and
  • Transparency and Engagement.

The PVC Stewardship Program has driven continual improvement in the PVC, or vinyl, industry for the past 14 years.

The Vinyl Council of Australia says that the Program is a vehicle for members of the industry to work together to advance the sustainability of the value chain and has been successful in changing how vinyl products are made today. Importantly the program has grown. In 2016, thirteen companies reported for the first time, as new Signatories to the Program, indicating that there is growing interest in the industry in improving its footprint.

Manufacturers that adhere to the Program, commit to meet measurable targets and obligations that reduce the environmental footprint of PVC products in Australia, whether manufactured here or overseas. Companies are required to provide comprehensive reports annually and each is audited periodically by an independent third party.

“The requirements to be met under the Program are challenging,” the Vinyl Council’s PVC Stewardship Manager Ms Laveen Dhillon explained.

“Signatory companies must verify that they or their upstream suppliers meet stringent manufacturing standards set by the Program for raw material sourcing, as well as meet local manufacturing commitments such as in use of additives, or implementing energy and resource efficiency.

“We congratulate the Excellence award winners for demonstrating leadership to others in the industry by achieving full compliance in 2016.”

Tarkett and ResourceCo Join Global GreenTag To Talk About Creative Waste Management And Circular Economy at AWRE 2017

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Reza Karani (Tarkett Australia) and Ben Sawley (ResourceCo) are speaking on a panel led by Global GreenTag’s CEO and Program Director David Baggs later this month on the topic: Creative Green Pathways In Product Waste Management – But Why Aren’t More Companies Making The Effort?

The panel, which features as part of the speakers’ series at the Australasian Waste and Recycling  Expo (AWRE) in Melbourne on August 23 will also be joined by sustainability leader, John Gertsakis, Manager, Communications and Outreach – Australian Mobile Telecommunications Association.

“The line-up is exciting,” says David Baggs who will be setting the scene for some of the recent developments and challenges in the waste sector.

“The management of waste is a pertinent issue amongst progressive, certified manufacturers who are driven to lighten their manufacturing footprint on the environment and we shall be viewing some exemplar recycling and upcycling programs already in process.”

The panel will also talk about Circular Economy and discuss what could be holding manufacturers back from making bigger changes and investing in creative waste management.

The Global GreenTag panel session will be held on Wednesday, August 23rd (Day 1 of AWRE) from12.30pm-1.15pm.

Venue: MELBOURNE CONVENTION & EXHIBITION CENTRE

If you would like to attend the event, please register HERE

 

Read more about the speakers on the GreenTag panel, below.

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David Baggs – Panel Leader

CEO and Program Director, Global GreenTag

David Baggs has been voted one of Australia’s Top 50 Green Leaders and in the Top 100 Sustainability Leaders Globally. He is CEO of Global GreenTag Pty Ltd and Program Director of Global GreenTagCertTM  which is Australia’s leading life-cycle assessment based product rating program and globally recognised Type 1 ecolabel, Certification Mark.

 

Ben Sawley_ResourceCo

Ben Sawley

CEO, ResourceCo

As CEO of ResourceCo’s Australian Sustainable Energy Business, Ben Sawley is passionate about sustainable energy and resource recovery. Ben began his career  with Unilever and has since worked across Australasia, the US and Europe, holding positions including as National General Manager for Transpacific’s  Post Collections business, General Management roles with Boral and consultancy with The Boston Consulting Group. Ben holds degrees in Engineering (Mechanical) and Business (Marketing) as well as an MBA from the Melbourne Business School.

 

Reza Karani Tarkett PL

Reza Karani

Technical Marketing & Sustainability Manager –  Tarkett Australia Pty Ltd

Reza is an architect  who has worked with international building material manufacturers such as Tarkett (French flooring solution providers) and Knauf (German drywall manufacturer).  His expertise is in the domain of sustainability with a focus on the characteristics of building materials and their life cycle impact on the environment.  He has a broad knowledge around local and global environmental standards and has a passion for implementing environmental targets in all aspects of construction and infrastructure using BIM (Building Information Modelling) solutions.

 

John Gertsakis PH

John Gertsakis

Manager, Communications and OutreachAustralian Mobile Telecommunications Association

John is a sustainability and communications practitioner with over 20 years experience as an industry adviser, consultant, advocate and research academic. He works on a range of issues including Product Stewardship, Producer Responsibility and regulatory analysis. In his current role as Communications Manager with the Australian Mobile Telecommunications Association, John is responsible for outreach and communications activities and provides specialist advice to one of Australia’s leading Product Stewardship schemes – MobileMuster. John is an Honorary Fellow of the Design Institute of Australia.

Global GreenTag Websites are NOW MORE USER FRIENDLY

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globalgreentag.com globalgreentag.co.za and globalgreentag.cn have just been enhanced to make product searching so much more fluid and to show all Certification features right up front in the product search results pages.

The upgrade is particularly going to make it a lot easier for built environment professionals to search quickly and make product buying decisions.

Industry professionals like architects, designers and specifiers are now able to VIEW AND COMPARE in the search directory which products – AT A GLANCE – have a GreenRate, an LCARate, an EPD (Environmental Product Declaration and/or a Global GreenTag PHD (Product Health Declaration). All certification rankings and achievements are in green and sit below each product image and name.

The new system will make it easier and more obvious to manufacturers what their competition has!

The search function on the site also enables visitors to quickly search for other, relevant information and articles that are pertinent to their enquiry.

Take a test drive NOW

Meet the NAC: Simon Dorries of Australian Forestry Standard Ltd

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Simon Dorries, Chief Executive of Australian Forestry Standard Ltd brings extensive experience in product certification to his role as a member of Global GreenTag’s National Advisory Committee (NAC).

“We are honoured to have Simon on our NAC committee. His background in standards development for the wood products industry is exemplary,” says David Baggs, GreenTag’s CEO and Program Director.  With over 30 years experience in the sector, Simon is well regarded as a leading international expert in the manufacture, quality control and product certification of wood and engineered wood products.

Simon took up his position with Australian Forestry Standard Ltd after nine years as Chief Executive of the Engineered Wood Products Association of Australasia.  He has been actively involved in standards development for two decades.

In addition to his role with Australian Forestry Standard, Simon also is chairperson of Standards Australia Committee TM-011 Engineered Wood Products, which governs product standards for a range of glued wood products including plywood, laminated veneer lumber, particleboard, medium density fibreboard and glue laminated timber.

Simon also has experience in technical promotion, education and training, standards and codes development, brand promotion and recognition, and research and development.

Other representatives on GreenTag’s committee for Building Products are:

Professional Associations

Scott Bagnell –Design Institute of Australia (DIA)

Stephen Claridge – Building Designers Association QLD

Industry Associations

Sophi MacMillan  – Vinyl Institute

Meriel Chamberlin – Apparel & Textiles Industries Group

Narelle Chenerry – Australian Certified Organic

University

Dr Dominique Hes  – University of Melbourne

Community/Env NGO

Jo Immig   – Australian Toxics Network

The Business Benefits Of Ecolabelling

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How does being certified make selling easier and boost market perception of green brands and minimise the liability of companies and directors?  

Global GreenTag is presenting a CPD approved educational seminar ‘ The Business Benefits of Ecolabelling’ for Building Professionals at this year’s Green + Building Expo on July 7 at the Melbourne Convention and Exhibition Centre.

For the seminar, Global GreenTag – represented by David Baggs (CEO and Program Director) and Brett Hazlett (Product Sales Assessments) –  will be joined by GreenTag certified  manufacturers, Weathertex (Business Development Manager Victoria Chris McMahon),  Graphenstone Australia (National Manager Dale Brennan) and Markant Australia (National Sales Manager Emily Fielding) to expand on how a respected ecolabel is essential for clarity and assurance in a building market that is wary of greenwash and uncertified materials.

Product certification is important for environmental, transparency, fitness for purpose, health and safety reasons. Also, with billions of dollars of green building projects, including infrastructure currently under certification in Australia, it makes good business sense to be pursuing a high standard of ecolabelling for the building industry to access, to understand and trust. Especially, a type 1 ecolabel, which can provide:

  • High end, transparent product information for industry to use, including:
  • Systems of certification that employ tools such as Life Cycle Assessment, environmental and human health product declarations and;
  • Organised and rated information that is geared towards direct recognition with green building rating tools.

Global GreenTag has become a trusted certification mark behind some of world’s most iconic brands, including Interface, Polyflor, Laminex, Dunlop, Knauf, Armstrong, Tarkett, Vertilux, Verosol, BASF, DuPont, CSR, Herman Miller, Schiavello and more.

Learning outcomes for seminar participants will include:

  • Enhanced materials intelligence for building professionals to be more discerning and alert to ‘greenwash’ products in the market;
  • Understanding how to constructively certify green products, save time, enhance project submissions and reduce professional risks and costs.
  • Improved knowledge for manufacturers considering ways of improving their products – including impacts and risks of product constituents to add market value to their products.

Seminar participants can apply to receive two CPD points through the Green Building Institute, which is recognised by the Australian government by attending the seminar and completing a questionnaire afterwards. This event will also generate CPD recognition for Green Star, ABSA and RAIA members.

Register to attend the The Business Benefits of Ecolabelling seminar and the Green+Building Expo 2017  HERE

The seminar will be available to attend on Friday, July 7.

green_ building_expo_ 2017

 

Global GreenTag Flips The Focus On Negative Impacts To Positive!

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The Global GreenTag and Evah Institute team’s delivery of three papers at the SETAC Europe conference in Brussels last month were warmly received for their unique focus to start measuring positive benefits of greener products and how they progress towards true sustainability.

GreenTag has been committed for some time to develop a novel new system called Life Cycle Benefit Analysis (LCBA) in association with the Evah Institute. Airing the idea for the five day European SETAC (Society of Environmental Toxicology and Chemistry) forum, drew positive interest from the SETAC community.

David Baggs, Global GreenTag’s CEO and Program Director delivered the paper: Driving ‘Beyond LCA’ Metrics for Net Positive Cities. 

Delwyn Jones, Director of the Ecquate Evah Institute, presented Positive LCA Factoring Planetary Boundaries.

Mathilde Vlieg, Product Assessor with Global GreenTag, continued with the focus of extending LCA practices and presenting the paper: Forest Product LCA: Carbon Form, Fire, Fuel and Fate Rules.

In greater detail, the three papers presented opened discussion for a greater scope using LCA  in the following areas:

Driving ‘Beyond LCA’ Metrics for Net Positive Cities

David Bagg’s paper (authored with Delwyn, Mathilde and GreenTag’s Lead Products Assessor, Shloka Ashar) was the first of the papers presented to open the case for measuring product positive impacts.

David presented case studies using metrics and tools that show how it is possible to measure progress towards true sustainability across the whole built environment – from products to buildings and infrastructure for cities.  David presented:

  • Applications of the novel Life Cycle Benefit Analysis (LCBA) concept, including exemplars vital for establishing how developments and products can deliver net positive carbon outcomes.
  • The need for a change in the way LCA (Life Cycle Assessment) is conducted.
  • How to integrate planetary boundaries as well as address calls to correct LCA methods for Climate Change Assessment from 25 Non Government Organisations (NGOs) from 6 countries.
  • Various tools that enable industry-wide, easy comparison of products and with adaption, assessment of developments, explore what is needed to constitute truly sustainable communities and cities.

Positive LCA Factoring Planetary Boundaries

This paper by Delwyn Jones (authored with Mathilde Vlieg and Shloka Ashar) challenged the existing boundaries of LCIA.  The International Standard Organisation Environmental Management LCA methodology focuses mostly on pollution generation and resource depletion, however, Delwyn told the forum:

“If LCA is to assess architecturally ‘Positive Development’ in ‘eco-retrofitting of the vast urban fabric we already inhabit’ it must evolve beyond LCIA.”

Delwyn’s presentation posited that we extend life cycle assessment (LCA) beyond impact assessment (LCIA) to consider benefit assessment (LCBA) integrating planetary boundaries, adding that:

 “The reach of LCIA is negative to zero often in loss of human health, ecosystem quality and natural capital.  Apart from lower ecological loads, LCA methods need to quantify recovery and regeneration of safe operating space and planetary boundaries for sustainable development.”

To illustrate her case, Delwyn tabled preliminary results from a residential high rise garbage chute over 60 years use – cradle to grave. Results showed:

“Overall gains in space and diverting recyclables from landfill are far greater than losses from manufacturing impacts,”

To quantify positive outcomes, a proposed LCBA theory, Delwyn said, calls for new concepts, methods and metrics to assess positive benefits, goals and benchmarks to supplement established LCIA methodology.

Forest Product LCA: Carbon Form, Fire, Fuel and Fate Rules

Mathilde Vlieg’s paper (authored with Delwyn Jones and Shloka Ashar) also attracted a lot of interest in Brussels.

Mathilde outlined work that pushes beyond the limits of current life cycle methodology to enable modelling of potential and actual carbon sequestration and sinks. Practitioners of LCA, she said, have long struggled with this issue, as there are unique fundamental challenges in modelling e.g., forest forms, history, habitat richness, species diversity and management.

Mathilde’s presentation demonstrated that while it is argued that stored carbon should not be counted as it will re-enter the atmosphere sooner or later, there is a ‘recognised’ need for accounting of sequestered carbon. She warned that:

“… this time factor is critical as we approach tipping points in the next decades …when LCIA practitioners currently often ignore carbon sequestration, most significant legal and ethical issues arise.”

Mathilde’s paper reviewed more than 30 cradle to grave case studies of plantation product supply chains. Results considered exclusion of Brazilian and Malaysian timber sequestration, because of continuing loss of rainforest forms across both nations.

The paper found:

“The significant difference in carbon uptake found depended on biofuel use for debarking, chipping, and sawmilling. Results were compared for timber fibre rich exterior cladding with various carbon sink values considering tropical interior boards and others. Forest product carbon sink values very significantly with management form, fire history, fuel use and interior and exterior applications and fate in re-use, recycling and landfill varied so LCA with detail knowledge of forest sources is essential.”

Global GreenTag Invites You To Comment

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Global GreenTag currently has 5 Building PCRs (Product Category Rules) in two stakeholder consultations open for public view and comment.  As stakeholders, we invite you to participate in these public consultations to help us finalise our next set of Building PCRs in collaboration with the Evah Institute.

PCRs are important as they underpin our ISO 14025 and EN 15804 compliant Environmental Product Declaration (EPD) program that runs in accordance with GreenTag’s Life Cycle Assessment (LCA) reporting processes.

PCRs determine what product information should be gathered, how that information should be evaluated, and how it should be presented in a form of environmental declaration.

Of course, this process of defining PCRs to building products, eventually supports the task of industry professionals globally who are working on projects under building schemes, including Green Star,  LEEDv4 compliant (currently used in 140+ countries) and BREEAM compliant (used in 40+ countries).

To participate in the consultation, please register here: http://www.globalgreentag.com/epd-program/

Please submit comments and questions, including request for the GreenTag  EPD Program Operation Rules, to certification2@globlgreentag.com

The PCRs for Public Consultation:

The public consultation period for the following PCR commenced on May 23, 2017 and will close on June 23, 2017.  The draft PCR is accessible through the links below. Please submit comments and questions, including requests for the GreenTag EPD Program Operation Rules, to certification1@globalgreentag.com

The public consultation period for the following PCRs commenced on May 17 will close on June 19, 2017. The draft PCR is accessible through the links below. Please submit comments and questions, including requests for the GreenTag EPD Program Operation Rules, to certification1@globalgreentag.com

Meet the NAC: Sophi MacMillan –Sustainable Industry Advocate and Chief Executive of the Vinyl Council of Australia

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Global GreenTag is proud to have sustainable industry champion Sophi MacMillan serving on its National Advisory Committee (NAC) for the development of the GreenTag building products standard. She has been in Europe this month presenting at a global technical vinyl conference ‘PVC 2017’, and the European VinylPlus Sustainability Forum 2017 on some of the innovative work the Australian vinyl industry has been achieving.

Sophi is an Environmental Scientist (with more than 20 years experience) who has worked for the PVC sector’s industry association, the Vinyl Council of Australia, since its establishment in June 1998; serving as the body’s Chief Executive since 2002.

With the Vinyl Council, Sophi works with companies and stakeholders across the supply chain for vinyl products in Australia to reduce social, environmental and health impacts associated with the life cycle of PVC products, addressing these with pragmatic and innovative solutions.  She has been instrumental in the establishment and management of the Australian PVC Stewardship Program, which has around 40 company signatories, and in development of the Best Practice PVC accreditation scheme recognised in Green Star. She is an advocate for fostering green building practices and the use of sustainably managed building materials.

With experience in strategic planning, stakeholder relations and communications across a range of organisations, sectors and government bodies in the UK, Hong Kong and Australia, Sophi is also a director and former Chair (2014-16) of the Asia Pacific Vinyl Network which encourages improved health, safety and environmental performance of the vinyl industry in the region, and is a member of the Management Committee of the Global Vinyl Council. Previously, she was a Director and Deputy Chair of the Building Products Industry Council in Australia and Chair of the Strategic Issues Advisory Group for the Plastics and Chemicals Industries Association in Australia.
Other members of Global GreenTag’s National Advisory Committee on Building Products  are:

Professional Associations

Mark Thomson –  Australian Green Development Forum (AGDF)

Stephen Claridge – Building Designers Association QLD

Industry Associations

Meriel Chamberlin – Apparel & Textiles Industries Group

Narelle Chenerry – Australian Certified Organic

University

Dr Dominique Hes – University of Melbourne

Community/Env NGO

Jo Immig – Australian Toxics Network

Global GreenTag Delivering Papers at SETAC in Brussels

170508 SETAC_Papers

Global GreenTag personnel in collaboration with the Ecquate Evah Institute are presenting papers in Brussels this week at SETAC (Society of Environmental Toxicology and Chemistry) European Forum.

SETAC is a not-for profit, global professional society established in 1979 to explore theories and advances in ecological risk assessment and life-cycle assessment, chemical manufacture and distribution, management and regulation of natural resources, and the study, analysis, and solution of environmental problems.

David Baggs, Global GreenTag’s CEO and Program Director is presenting the paper: Driving ‘Beyond LCA’ Metrics for Net Positive Cities at the forum on May 8.

Delwyn Jones, Director of the Ecquate Evah Institute, is presenting: Positive LCA Factoring Planetary Boundaries on May 9.

Mathilde Vlieg, Product Assessor with Global GreenTag, is presenting: Forest Product LCA: Carbon Form, Fire, Fuel and Fate Rules on May 9.        

                      

Driving ‘Beyond LCA’ Metrics for Net Positive Cities

crop DB square crop

David Bagg’s paper (authored with Delwyn, Mathilde and GreenTag’s Lead Products Assessor, Shloka Ashar) will present CASE studies using metrics and tools that will show how to measure progress towards true sustainability across the whole built environment – from products to buildings and infrastructure for cities.  Included in his address, David will be presenting:

  • Applications of the novel Life Cycle Benefit Analysis (LCBA) concept, including exemplars vital for establishing how developments and products can deliver net positive carbon outcomes.
  • The need for a change in the way LCA (Life Cycle Assessment) is conducted.
  • How to integrate planetary boundaries as well as address calls to correct LCA methods for Climate Change Assessment from 25 Non Government Organisations (NGOs) from 6 countries.
  • Various tools that enable industry-wide, easy comparison of products and with adaption, assessment of developments, explore what is needed to constitute truly sustainable communities and cities.

Positive LCA Factoring Planetary Boundaries

Del jones

This paper by Delwyn Jones (authored with Mathilde Vlieg and Shloka Ashar) challenges the existing boundaries of LCIA.  The International Standard Organisation Environmental Management LCA methodology focuses mostly on pollution generation and resource depletion but, the paper advises:

“If LCA is to assess architecturally ‘Positive Development’ in ‘eco-retrofitting of the vast urban fabric we already inhabit’ it must evolve beyond LCIA.”

Delwyn’s presentation extends life cycle assessment (LCA) beyond impact assessment (LCIA) to consider benefit assessment (LCBA) integrating planetary boundaries, stating that:

 “The reach of LCIA is negative to zero often in loss of human health, ecosystem quality and natural capital.  Apart from lower ecological loads, LCA methods need to quantify recovery and regeneration of safe operating space and planetary boundaries for sustainable development.”

To illustrate the case, Delwyn tables preliminary results from a residential high rise garbage chute over 60 years use – cradle to grave – and results show:

“Overall gains in space and diverting recyclables from landfill are far greater than losses from manufacturing impacts,”

To quantify positive outcomes, the proposed LCBA theory, Delwyn’s paper calls for new concepts, methods and metrics to assess positive benefits, goals and benchmarks to supplement established LCIA methodology.

Forest Product LCA: Carbon Form, Fire, Fuel and Fate Rules

Mathilde Vlieg

Mathilde Vlieg’s paper (authored with Delwyn Jones and Shloka Ashar) outlines work that pushes beyond the limits of current life cycle methodology to enable modelling of potential and actual carbon sequestration and sinks. Practitioners of LCA have long struggled with this issue, the paper claims, as there are unique fundamental challenges in modelling e.g., forest forms, history, habitat richness, species diversity and management.

Mathilde’s presentation will show that while it is argued that stored carbon should not be counted as it will re-enter the atmosphere sooner or later, there is a ‘recognised’ need for accounting of sequestered carbon, warning that:

“… this time factor is critical as we approach tipping points in the next decades …when LCIA practitioners currently often ignore carbon sequestration, most significant legal and ethical issues arise.”

Mathilde’s paper reviews more than 30 cradle to grave case studies of plantation product supply chains. Results considered exclusion of Brazilian and Malaysian timber sequestration, because of continuing loss of rainforest forms across both nations.

The paper found:

“The significant difference in carbon uptake found depended on biofuel use for debarking, chipping, and sawmilling. Results were compared for timber fibre rich exterior cladding with various carbon sink values considering tropical interior boards and others. Forest product carbon sink values very significantly with management form, fire history, fuel use and interior and exterior applications and fate in re-use, recycling and landfill varied so LCA with detail knowledge of forest sources is essential.”

Manufacturers under Global GreenTag’s PhD … Where do YOU stand?

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If you are a manufacturer, we encourage you to attend this important information seminar to receive a glimpse of where your products might stand within the rating scale of the new Global GreenTag Product Health Declaration™ or PhD tool that has just been released on the Australian market.

This seminar, lead by GreenTag’s CEO and Technical Director David Baggs, will be held at DesignBUILD Expo in Sydney  on Thursday, May 4 at the International Convention Centre – and is free!

GreenTag’s PhD tool addresses human health concerns directly.  It is the first system globally to assess the health impacts of the final product – and not just the hazards of the ingredients.

To read more about the PhD tool and to REGISTER a seat at the seminar, please CLICK HERE

Applying Healthy Building Design Using Global GreenTag’s PhD

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This practical PhD seminar will be run in conjunction with DesignBUILD Expo in Sydney – and is free!

The seminar is specifically for building professionals who want to reduce their risks on future projects by harnessing Global GreenTag’s new Product Health Declaration™ or PhD tool, which was released on the Australian market at the end of March.

GreenTag’s PhD tool addresses human health concerns directly.  It is the first system globally to assess the health impacts of the final product – and not just the hazards of the ingredients.

To read more about the PhD tool and to REGISTER for this seminar on Friday, May 5th at the International Convention Centre at DesignBUILD:  CLICK HERE

 

 

Product Category Rules – GreenTag Wants Your Say

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Global GreenTag currently has 7 Building PCRs (Product Category Rules) ready to release for public review.

As stakeholders, we invite you to participate in this public consultation to help us finalise our next set of Building PCRs in collaboration with the Evah Institute.

PCRs are important as they underpin our ISO 14025 and EN 15804 compliant Environmental Product Declaration (EPD) program that runs in accordance with GreenTag’s Life Cycle Assessment (LCA) reporting processes.

PCRs determine what product information should be gathered, how that information should be evaluated, and how it should be presented in a form of environmental declaration.

Of course, this process of defining PCRs to building products, eventually supports the task of industry professionals globally who are working on projects under building schemes, including Green Star,  LEEDv4 compliant (currently used in 140+ countries) and BREEAM compliant (used in 40+ countries).

The Global GreenTag PCR public consultation will take place over a 30 day period, commencing March 20, 2017 and closing April 20, 2017.  It will address the following 7 PCR building product areas:

  • Furniture
  • Wet Area Wall Cladding
  • Wet Area Floor Covering
  • Flood Coverings
  • Thermal Insulation
  • Acoustic Insulation
  • Boiled, Chilled and Filtered Potable Water Systems

To participate in the consultation, please register here: http://www.globalgreentag.com/epd-program/

Please submit comments and questions, including request for the GreenTag  EPD Program Operation Rules, to certification2@globlgreentag.com

GreenTag’s New PhD Health Tool Is Radical And Necessary But Also Expected To Accelerate Market Transformation

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Studies that make connections between toxic products and human health issues speak for themselves, says David Baggs, CEO and Technical Director of Global GreenTag, at the launch of the ecolabel’s new Product Health Declaration™ or PhD tool in Sydney at Total Facilities 2017.  Ethically, GreenTag did not want to sit on worrying statistics much longer without doing something about it.

“GreenTag’s PhD is a radical entry into the market but it is also very necessary because it addresses human health concerns directly – we have the first system globally to assess the health impacts of the final product – and not just the hazards of the ingredients.”

Tracking product toxicity is important, says David.  Australian businesses lose up to $28 billion annually in lost production and wages due to employee ill health, yet what is largely unknown by Australian business owners, is that toxic ingredients hidden in products used in workplace buildings are a significant culprit of workplace sickness.

GreenTag’s PhD, he said, is finally going to push for transparency to disclose risks and hazards in products used in workplaces and, in Australian homes too.

Industry observers at the PhD launch (including Kerryn Wilmot, Research Principal at the Institute for Sustainable Futures at UTS, Robin Mellon, CEO of Supply Chain Sustainability School, Reza Karani, Technical Marketing & Sustainability Manager at Tarkett Australia and Dr Max Deuble, Senior ESD Consultant at EMF Griffiths) welcomed the new tool and some called the tool a game changer, particularly for the built environment industry.

The first PhD certificate, said David, has already been issued.  Building manufacturer Weathertex were the first to make the leap and other manufacturers like Amorim Wicanders flooring have signed on as well, to have their product claims made transparent and examined further.

Also welcoming the PhD for its potential to help transform the Australian building market, Jorge Chapa, Head of Market Transformation at the Green Building Council of Australia stated:

“When most people spend 90 per cent of their time indoors, there is a huge potential for our buildings – and the products within them – to positively influence the health and wellbeing of occupants. We support innovative approaches, like the PhD Product Heath Declaration, that can accelerate market transformation.”

GreenTag’s PhD was motivated by a number of studies, said David, that have concluded the need for firmer risk mitigation strategies to be brought into the supply chain to help prevent toxic products being used in workplaces and homes. He said:

“We already know from studies that product toxicity found in buildings is a very real cause behind a range of human health problems – even to unborn babies – including cancer, hormone disruption, asthma, allergies, chronic fatigue and many other toxicity related illnesses.”

“Even an ‘indoor environment’ study, published last year by the American Chemical Society, found a concerning combination of chemicals  present and leaching or gassing off from products that people take in daily through their skin and airways in a range of typical indoor scenarios,” said David.

Yet, he added, it has also been proven in a variety of other studies, including a workplace study by Sustainability Victoria who retrofitted their own offices with a range of strategies, including low toxicity products, that employees became healthier as a result.

“Sick leave was reduced by 30% and productivity went up an extraordinary 45%.”

In order to achieve a PhD HEALTH certification rating, GreenTag will require manufacturers to provide 100 percent transparency – to 100 parts per million – of any product’s individual ingredients’ toxicity information. The tool, adds David, will:

  • Support product manufacturers “doing the right thing” who are prepared to disclose toxicity information.
  • Reduce risks for building professionals to confidently make distinctions between products that are safer for human health and those that are not and, make it easier to communicate health related product decisions to clients/and building occupiers.
  • Also, respect the rise up of conscious consumers, who studies show want healthier choices and greater access to more authentic product information, which they can trust because “Absolute transparency brings total peace of mind”.

For the green building movement, GreenTag’s PhD will be working hand in hand with building rating schemes like the Green Building Council of Australia’s Green Star tools; as well as supporting designers attempting to rate projects through other rating tools with a health focus.

170403 PhD_Launch_Group_Shot 1 600xPhD Launch in Sydney (pictured from left to right)  Brett Hazlett, Product Sales Assessor, Global GreenTag;  Mary-Lou Kelly, Director & Co-Founder, Global GreenTag;  Reza Karani, Technical Marketing & Sustainability Manager, Tarkett Australia;  David Baggs, CEO & Technical Director, Global GreenTag.

For more information or to talk further with David Baggs, please contact Debra Robertson, marketing@globalgreentag.com or by phone:  1300 263 586

GreenTag Goes to War on Hidden Toxins in Australian Homes

Young businesswoman working in the office

Inside the Australian home can be a health hazard with a range of unsuspecting products hiding toxic ingredients that are risky for families (even unborn babies) to live with, but a radical new certification tool for delving into product toxicity, designed by Global GreenTag International, is set to finally expose and disclose these hazards to help consumers make healthier buying decisions.

Called a Product Health Declaration™ or GreenTag PhD™ the new certification tool will be the first of its kind in the world. The tool was launched today in Sydney at Total Facilities 2017 by David Baggs, CEO and Technical Director of GreenTag who told a packed industry audience:

“A product health declaration of this level is a radical entry into the market but it is very necessary. We have known for a long time from studies that negative human health issues are connected to product toxicity, causing skin irritations, allergies, reproductive and endocrine defects, cancer and other illnesses.  Unfortunately, there are personal care,  cleaning and even building and interiors products still being sold that hide toxins and volatile organic compounds like formaldehyde, BPA and banned Phthalates in composite wood panels, packaging or fabrics, or solvents from wood lacquers, which have a disproportionately high impact on small children and can even have significant affects on babies while they are still in the womb.”

The PhD health tool will demand of manufacturers a 100 percent transparency to 100 parts per million of any product’s individual ingredients’ toxicity information to make a PhD HEALTH certification rating.  The good news is, GreenTag announced, a number of progressive manufacturers in Australia and Europe have already signed up.

For professional users, the GreenTag PhD tool will also work hand in hand with building rating platforms, including Green Star®, WELL®, LEED® and BREEAM® and industry delegates welcomed the tool as a positive boost for building professionals who need critical and transparent specification information to reduce risks in designing for healthy interiors, and workplace efficiency.

Jorge Chapa, Head of Market Transformation at the Green Building Council of Australia said:

“When most people spend 90 per cent of their time indoors, there is a huge potential for our buildings – and the products within them – to positively influence the health and wellbeing of occupants. We support innovative approaches, like the PhD Product Health Declaration, that can accelerate market transformation.”

 

Global GreenTag’s job is to assess the toxicity of products against the classification and labelling of chemicals under the Globally Harmonised System (GHS) originally developed by the United Nations.  Three categories of hazards are assessed and organised as to how they can affect human health and also environmental health.

Behind the development of GreenTag’s latest certification process – the Product Health Declaration™ or GreenTag PhD™ – are a number of third party studies that link product health with human health.  The most recent evidence which addresses product toxicity and impacts on human health were highlighted in a study from the US, released in 2016, in which dust studies were conducted for their window into chemicals present in a range of typical indoor scenarios, particularly residential.

The study published by the American Chemical Society (ACS) found a concerning combination of chemicals present and leaching or gassing off from products that people take in daily through their skin and airways.

The study found:

  • Nine general hazard traits associated with 35 chemicals that were both included in the intake assessment and were listed under the Safer Consumer Products Candidate Chemical Listings.

The study identified:

  • Exposure to one or more of these chemical classes has been associated with adverse health effects including reproductive toxicity, endocrine disruption, cognitive and behavioral impairment in children, cancer, asthma, immune dysfunction, and chronic disease.

The study called for:

  • A full understanding of these household level drivers of high exposure is critical to the development of mitigation strategies including regulatory interventions.

GreenTag’s product assessment procedures for Australia, which now includes the Product Health Declaration™ or GreenTag PhD™ are aligned to the new GHS system, from January 1st, 2017, which  also applies to all workplace hazardous chemicals in NSW, ACT, QLD, SA, TAS, NT and Commonwealth systems under the GHS and the Model Work Health and Safety (WHS) Regulations and their Hazardous Substances Information System.

Within this scope, GreenTag’s assessment procedures address risk of hazards pertaining to human health, such as carcinogenicity, also risks to the  environment, such as toxic  release  to waterways and of course physical hazards – a pertinent category, especially in light of the urgent need in recent years in the Australian building industry that has seen a number of fire outbreaks, due in part to flammability in the  chemical components in sub-par and uncertified materials.

For more information or to speak further with David Baggs,  please contact Debra Robertson, marketing@globalgreentag.com or Phone 1300 263 586 | +61 7 3399 9686

 

CHANGING THE WAY WE SEE PRODUCTS FOREVER … Get ready for the next generation of authentic product information

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Consumer concern for product transparency is a significant problem for the built environment industries but Global GreenTag International is set to present the market with a solution.

GreenTag is launching an important new transparency tool for delving into product information that is going to empower manufacturers and building professionals to deliver projects with a level of transparency that has never been seen before.

The conscious consumer is on the rise, says Global GreenTag’s CEO and Program Director David Baggs.  We need to change the way we see products forever. Consumers are making it their business to ask for trustworthy, authentic product information and, especially if it concerns risks that are associated with products that are selected for the buildings they are going to occupy.

Unveiling the new tool at a  Media Launch on the opening day of Total Facilities 2017 David Baggs is going reveal how the new tool will work, to:

  • Build greater market trust in manufacturers whose brands are certified with the new tool;
  • Increase the integrity of firms, building professionals and facility managers who use the tool in designing and specifying on projects – and work in systems like Green Star, WELL and LEED;
  • Simplify complex but critical product information that all stakeholders can easily understand and communicate with greater confidence and,
  • Influence bigger changes for the built environment industries in Australia and throughout the world.
Media Launch Details – at Total Facilities 2017

Wednesday 29 March
11:00 am – 12:30am
Room 5.3 (Level 5)
International Convention Centre Sydney, Darling Harbour

REGISTER FOR LAUNCH HERE 

(limited placed available)

For further information, please contact: Debra Robertson

Email marketing@globalgreentag.com   I Phone 1300 263 586 | +61 7 3399 9686

About David Baggs:  

David Baggs is CEO and Program Director of Global GreenTagCertTM  and a multi-award winning green building architect and world renowned sustainability and materials expert with over 35 years experience.

Voted one of Australia’s Top 50 Green Leaders and one of the Top 100 Sustainability Leaders Globally, David also is a Member of the American Chemical Society, an Exemplar Global Lead Auditor and a Past President of the Australian Life Cycle Assessment Society.

About Global GreenTag:  

Global GreenTag Certification standards are recognised in Australia, New Zealand, Malaysia, South Africa, Africa and SE Asia and in over 70 other countries.  GreenTag is also the only sustainable building product related certification scheme approved in Australia by the ACCC.

The Global GreenTag certification mark is  the first ecolabel in the world to  implement a unique ‘Beyond LCA’ life cycle assessment (LCA) and the first ever to provide a  ‘Net Positive’ benefit analysis to certify and rate green buildings and interiors.

Some of world’s most iconic brands, including Interface, Polyflor, Laminex, Desso, Dunlop, Knauf, Armstrong, Tarkett, Vertilux, Verosol, CSR, Herman Miller and Schiavello are backed by GreenTag certification.

 

LCA Specialist Comes to GreenTag

170227 Nana Bortsie-Aryee

Global GreenTag’s full-time  Product Certification Team are now all multi-degree graduates and we are happy to welcome a brilliant new  member to the team  – Nana Bortsie-Aryee

Nana has a considerable  track record in sustainability and environmental management on the global stage in both developed and developing countries.  He has applied his skills as an LCA, industrial ecology  researcher and solutions provider in projects from Africa to the United States to Germany, Eastern Europe, Asia and more recently, in New Zealand.

Nana has authored and co-authored  a number of publications concerned with the integration of Life Cycle Analysis thinking and practices. He holds a number of degrees, including a Bachelor of Science in Agriculture from the Unviersity of Ghana,  two Masters degrees from Germany and Japan,  and he is soon to receive his Doctorate  degree  from the University of Otago, New Zealand on a thesis titled: Water Footprinting: Theory to Reality – Building competitive advantage around water management in New Zealand Livestock Agriculture

Experienced in planning and implementation of transdisciplinary sustainable projects, sustainability assessments and strategy development, including material flow analysis and comprehensive data management, Nana’s interests encompass the growth of renewable energy systems, clean technologies, sustainable waste management, sustainable water management, industrial material flow management and regional material flow management.

We asked Nana some questions:

 

What and or who inspired you to follow the sustainability path?

It was the fact that natural resources in my home country were being used without consideration of the environment and the negative impact on the health and livelihoods of the locals.

How important is LCA in product certification?

LCA causes companies to show proof of their processes from an environmental perspective and also improves transparency for product certification.

What is the significance of the tools that GreenTag has developed as part of it’s certification standard?

Companies need to show proof of answers in their Sustainability Declarations and the GreenTag certification approach provides a range of tools which use key sustainability indicators to investigate the progress made on these declarations.

And, why did you choose GreenTag to join?

GreenTag is a major reputable sustainability auditing brand that has its processes and procedures based on recognised international standards. Based on my training, this is a perfect organisation to continue to grow as a sustainability practitioner. The organisation also allows for growth and is perfect for me in terms of their long term growth strategy and my career direction.

What is your message to manufacturers?

Sustainability is not just talk, it can be done and we can help you achieve that through our processes.