Category Archives: Conferences

Managing Director of Global GreenTag Returns Inspired From The UN HLPF

Global GreenTag International Managing Director Mary-Lou Kelly has returned from a two week visit to the United Nations.  Mary-Lou says that she is inspired and ready to hit the ground running to help plan out certification strategies to help support the UN’s 17 Sustainability Development Goals.

Passionate about SDG # 12 – Sustainable Consumption and Production – Mary-Lou says that she is now looking forward to pushing this agenda with Global Manufacturing.

At the High Level Political Forum (HLPF) on UN Sustainable Development in New York City,  Mary-Lou attended a packed series of important presentations and assemblies, focusing where Global GreenTag can put its strengths as a world leading product certifier to service the goals of the 193 countries that have pledged to meet the Sustainable Development Goals set for 2030.

This year’s HLPF theme was Transformation towards sustainable and resilient societies.

Mary-Lou reports that the total of 17 Sustainaable Development Goals that were presented before the assembly will be a major driver to effect the changes that are needed and Global GreenTag,  she adds, is in a prime position to being part of the solution for the 193 countries who are committed to pursue SDGs in their countries by 2030. 

At some level, the product certification work of Global GreenTag has impact on all 17 SDGs and more direct influence on goals SDG12, SDG11, SDG9 and SDG8.

Mary-Lou also took special time out to participate with other informal UN meetings that she is involved with outside of Global GreenTag.  These included a meeting with the Secretary General of the World Federation of United Nations Association – Bonian Golmohammadi and delegates from other United Nations Association countries to share what has been happening in local territories.

Mary-Lou is pictured here with (from left to right) Pablo Angulo (WFUNA Sustainable Development Officer), Torleif Jonasson (Danish UNA), Peter Wollaert (UNA Belgium), Mary-Lou Kelly (UNA Australia), Jenni Kauppila (UNA Finland), Emil Chireno (UNA Dominican Republic) and Bonian Golmohammadi (WFUNA Secretary-General).

Best Environmental Practice PVC …Global GreenTag International Articulates Importance of BEP PVC Scheme

Certified, environmentally responsible PVC product is fast becoming a tender request in projects for the built environment. Global GreenTag International is stepping up its compliance scheme for manufacturers who want to meet this demand on green projects with the Global GreenTag Best Environmental Practice PVC (BEP PVC™), available under the GreenTag International Certification Standard V4.

“Environmentally responsible PVC manufacture is critical in these times,” says David Baggs, GreenTag’s CEO and Technical Director who will be drilling down into the topic for industry this month.

Appearing at Shaping the Future PVC Australia 2018 conference in Sydney, David will be deconstructing the value of PVC product that has been submitted for Life Cycle Assessment, delivering a paper titled: The comparative life cycle evaluation of PVC vs other flooring.

Providing articulated schemes for progressive manufacturers who are doing great products with PVC is so important to elevate, says David.

Global GreenTag’s BEP PVC complies with the new Green Star® rating tools Responsible Products – PVC credit, which was developed by the Green Building Council of Australia (GBCA) and New Zealand (GBCNZ) in association with the Vinyl Council of Australia (VCA).

GBCA conducted a full literature review, concluding that vinyl cannot be ruled out as a material for use in the built environment, and since introduction of the new credit “the uptake has been quick,” says David, adding that Global GreenTag certifies some of the biggest PVC product manufacturers in the world, particularly the flooring sector.

“Proving that your product meets best environmental practice standards is now going to be key for products entering green projects and the procurement sales process.” The Australian Defence Forces and Lend Lease, he notes, became early adopters, announcing their intention to meet the PVC credit in tender opportunities.

The Vinyl Council of Australia’s Best Environmental Practice PVC trade mark is already available to companies, which apply and provide a copy of a valid certificate of compliance, including Global GreenTag’s Certificate of BEP PVC Compliance. Companies are then listed on the BEP PVC online register, says David, of compliant products, which are linked to the GBCA Green Star® website.

This will cover for all kinds of building construction, interiors fitout and existing building refurbishments in:

  • Flooring
  • Permanent formwork
  • Cables
  • Blinds
  • Pipes

For companies that want to meet Green Star® compliance, David adds that PVC products with Global GreenTag GreenRate™ certi­fication can earn points under the Green Star® ‘Sustainable Products’ credit, however, such certification does not remove the consideration of those products from the Responsible Building Materials credit if they are pipes, cables, flooring, permanent formwork or blinds.

Manufacturers in these categories who would like to discuss their options to secure a BEP PVC, or to upgrade their certification to Standard v.4.0, are invited to email Brett Hazlett: manufacturers@globalgreentag.com

Global GreenTag Flips The Focus On Negative Impacts To Positive!

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.”