Category Archives: Interiors

Three Defining Moments in the birth of the Global GreenTag Certification Program

Global GreenTag International CEO and Program Director David Baggs was recently interviewed by the green building directory, network and information sharing platform – Rate It Green.  The story about the genesis and evolution of the Global GreenTag Product Certification Standard and Certification Mark starts here:

QUESTION:

If the backstory of the Global GreenTag Certification Program were to be articulated by three defining moments, what would they be?

DAVID BAGGS:

Actually, there are three easily recalled ‘moments’ each in different time periods that do explain how the Global GreenTag Certification Program came about and evolved.

Firstly, and somewhat broadly from a time period point of view, the genesis of the Standard at a deep level was already emerging during my early career path, which involved nearly 20 years as a passive solar and healthy buildings architect. I had designed over 300-earth wall, green roof and straw bale buildings and more than 35 earth covered buildings in the years before 1995. I guess the first turning point into the domain came when my company and I was appointed, through 1995 and 1996, as Sustainability, Energy, Materials and variously Government and Media Liaison for 10 of the Sydney 2000 Green Olympic Games Venues.

With those project teams, we went on to use Integrative Design Processes to develop and win bids, strategize policy, facilitate sustainability outcomes, audit the projects against their original commitments and report to Government and oversight NGOs. Along the way, I undertook hundreds of mini-Life Cycle Analyses (LCA) and created a number of ‘Designer’s Guides to the Eco-rating of Materials’ documents to assist the architects and engineers for those projects choose the most appropriate sustainable materials for each project.

However, the second and single most defining individual ‘moment’ towards what eventually became Global GreenTag was when my co-founder Mary-Lou Kelly (whose core value is a love of this planet) approached me in 2002 shortly after our businesses joined forces and pointedly asked: “What are you doing with all that LCA product information that you developed for the Olympic Projects?” My response? ”Using it on our projects”… and her reply was “that information is too important to be sitting on our shelves. It needs to be got out, so the broader industry can use it”.

READ THE FULL INTERVIEW – ON RATE IT GREEN

NEW FRONTIERS for Global GreenTag International (GGTI) 2019

By Mary-Lou Kelly – Managing Director
What Global Leadership Direction does GGTI want to take as a business in 2019?

This was a key question we asked ourselves after participating in the 4th Assembly of the United Nations Environment Assembly in Nairobi, Kenya during March 2019, where 100 Environment Ministers,  Advisors and Business Leaders convened to discuss solutions to the current state of the planet, under the framework of the UN 17 Sustainable Development Goals (SDG’s)*.

Global GreenTag International (GGTI) offers key solutions to these current planetary problems we are facing within Sustainable Production and Manufacturing. The assessment of a product’s Life Cycle Impacts (and benefits) provides the data in which we can assess the standard or level of product manufacturing.  It is also through this process of understanding Life Cycle Analysis (LCA), i.e., both Life Cycle Impact Analysis (LCIA) and Life Cycle Benefit Analysis (LCBA), that a manufacturer’s next generation product could be developed or recognised to have less impact, indeed potentially provide cyclic resource, climate, health and/or ecologic benefits . With GGTI having robust, scientific standards, we offer a high level transition platform by which manufacturers can play an even more vital role to begin the journey back to transforming the health of our natural ecosystems that need nurturing and restoration.

What can we now do in parallel with Product Certification?

The deeper question is, how can we together go beyond our own business limitations of ‘casting our marketing nets’ wider into a global market and reaching an expanded audience, which remains fundamental to Business Growth and Opportunities?  What might truly stretch us as a Global Business, and what are we truly willing to take responsibility for in our pursuit of excellence? To be truly Great Leaders who are continually learning we must ‘dig deeper’ and change and restore the very foundations that provide us with the resources that supported our creativity for products in the first instance. Beyond Global Marketing and expansion, GGTI (and its partners) choose to participate in and action the following initiatives:

  • Come together with our science & share our findings and data in an equitable way where we all benefit;
  • Develop new ‘cyclic economy’ and ‘net positive’ product metrics like LCARate™ and LCBA;
  • Develop world first certification types and unique transparency reporting for products;
  • Influence national policy and legislation with these findings to support decision making at its highest governance level. This would best be done as a collective; and, in addition to this
  • Action a NEW GLOBAL PROJECT that Global GreenTag International (GGTI) is launching around a concept called Earth Jurisprudence – defined as ‘law and human governance that is based on the fact that humans are only one part of a wider community of beings and that the welfare of each member of that community is dependent on the welfare of the Earth as a whole’.  The GGTI project involves specifically; Restoration of the Natural Ecosystems and the Legacy of the Protection of the Rights of Nature with the aim of having this written into Constitutional and International Law.

GGTI’s very original intent has always been  the protection and preservation of the planet’s natural ecosystems and now GGTI will endeavour to fulfil that mission with this New Global Project.

What goes beyond our own global marketing?

Going forward, our intention is to share and work as a collective to enact change and to restore the very life force that sustains us all. A life force that has provided us all with the energy to be as creative as we are today in what we can and do manufacture.

As the United Nations slogan rightly says… We are all in this together, we truly are, and if we can partner and work together I KNOW WE CAN DO THIS.  From Business as Usual Products, LCA/LCBA, Circular Economy, and Net Positive Ecosystems/Biodiversity to Earth Jurisprudence, these are the five rings of the Ecological Olympics, and we here at GGTI are embracing the full life cycle of the manufacturing and production of products. We are deepening and expanding our Global Service and Legacy and we want to inspire you to do the same and invite you to work with us for the Love of this Beautiful Planet and its Future.

Enjoy your amazing day gifted to you by the Natural Systems.

~ Mary-Lou

* The UN 17 SDG’s outlines a comprehensive Planetary Strategic Plan till 2030

 

MARY-LOU KELLY Managing Director Mary-Lou Kelly co-founded Global GreenTag International with CEO and Program Director David Baggs and the Global GreenTagCertTM green product rating and ecolabel program, which was Australia’s first ACCC approved Certification Mark in the green building sector.

Mary-Lou is also CEO and Co-founder of Ecospecifier Global, a service that she conceptualized in 2002 and remained pivotal in the conception and strategic development of the company, since its launch in 2003 and its subsequent expansion throughout Australasia, Middle East, SE Asia, Sth Africa and China to become one of the world’s most recognised and respected sources for the building industry of eco-product information and sustainability knowledge and the recipient of numerous major awards.  Mary-Lou was the driving organizational and management force behind the creation, formation, financial and other non-technical aspects of Ecospecifier that turned the company into a million-dollar plus turnover business inside six years. The Ecospecifier resource websites went free-to-air in 2011 after eight years to help accelerate the uptake of green materials in the built environment sector.

GLOBAL GREEENTAG Global GreenTag Certifications, Declarations and Verifications take deep scientific health and sustainability assessments and turn them into intuitive product ratings and reports to simplify the A&D and Construction sectors’ green product decisions. Global GreenTag International Pty Ltd is an internationally recognised, multi-award-winning Type 1 (Third Party) Ecolabelling, Product Certification, Environmental Product Declaration (EPD) and Product health Declaration (PhD) program operator based in Australia, but with offices and representation also in South Africa, Mainland China, Hong Kong, Taiwan, Malaysia, the Americas (Canada, USA and Latin America). Global GreenTag programs are formally recognised in WELL™, BREEAM International, EarthCheck®, Green Star®, LOTUS® and the Malaysian Government’s MyHIJAU program and compliant with credit requirements in LEED® (PhDs and EPDs), and BREEAM® (EPDs).

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

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

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.

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

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

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?

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

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

 

 

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

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

 

GreenTag Certifiers Ready to Roll With New GHS Requirements

170130 GreenTag is GHS Ready

Major changes to OH&S requirements are here and GreenTag is ready for the legislative requirements that have been introduced in Australia with  respect to the new legislative requirement for classification and labelling of chemicals under the  Globally Harmonised System (GHS) originally developed by the United Nations.

The use of the GHS is now mandatory from  January 1st, 2017, having been announced in 2012 by the Safe Work Australia and introduced into Global GreenTag Standards commencing also in 2012 and has consequently played some small part in helping to establish the use of GHS in the market since – just  as it also has in the development and growth of LCA  (Life Cycle Assessment),   EPDs (Environmental Product Declarations) and a soon to be announced new declaration, currently under wraps.

In terms of chemical classification and labelling under the new look GHS, GreenTag is ready.

GreenTag  product assessment procedures are aligned to the new system, which  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.

GreenTag  product assessors, whose job is to rate products with careful consideration of any chemical risks in products under certification, gladly welcome  the new GHS system – for its clarity and opportunity to increase demands for transparency and greater product disclosure.

The new GHS system provides enhanced  criteria by which to classify hazards, including  risk of hazards pertaining to human health, such as carcinogenicity, 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.

Under the GHS new system, all manufacturers, importers, suppliers and users of hazardous chemicals will be required to observe legislative requirements  to manage the risks associated with hazardous chemicals in the workplace.  This will include  ensuring the safe use, handling and storage of chemicals, as well as specific duties under the model Work Health and Safety Regulations.

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Under the GHS there are nine new Hazard Pictograms:

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Hazard Descriptions

In plain text contexts, the GHS uses the words ‘Danger’ and ‘Warning’ as signals to indicate the relative level of severity of a hazard. ‘Danger’ being used for more severe or significant hazards, with ‘Warning’ being used for less severe hazards.

Hazard and Precautionary Statements

Hazard Statements are assigned to a class and category that describes the nature of the hazards of a substance, including where appropriate, the degree of hazard, e.g. the hazard statement ’Toxic if swallowed’ is the Hazard Statement for Acute Toxicity category 3 (Oral).

Precautionary Statements describe the recommended measures that should be taken to minimise or prevent adverse effects resulting from exposure, or improper storage or handling of a hazardous chemical. The GHS precautionary statements cover prevention, response, storage and disposal.

Hazard and precautionary statements replace the ‘Risk’ and ‘Safety’ phrases required under previous laws.

For more information, see the classification and labelling for workplace hazardous chemicals poster

READ MORE IN FULL the article  in Sourceable by David Baggs, CEO of GreenTag  who expands on the new changes for Australia. https://sourceable.net/new-ohs-chemical-classification-system-launches-in-oz/

 

Join Global GreenTag at Total Facilities 2017

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Total Facilities, 29 – 30 March 2017, International Convention Centre Sydney

Total Facilities presents two-days of discussion and discovery for FM and like-minded professionals.  It combines Australia’s largest offering of innovative facility products and services with forward-thinking strategies to optimise facility and workplace performance. A thriving exhibition floor featuring over 150 leading brands will showcase real solutions to meet operational challenges, whilst free-to-attend educational seminars offering bold perspectives and latest FM thinking will raise methodologies to drive business performance. Join Australia’s largest community of FM minds for unrivalled networking and engaging discussion for enhancing our living-working environments.

Find out more at totalfacilities.com.au.

David Baggs Joins Judging Panel at 4th International Green Interiors Awards

The 4th International Green Interiors Awards for 2017 is being launched in Sydney this week and David Baggs, GreenTag’s CEO has been invited for the first time by Australian Living to be a judge.

Entries for the international awards event, which has grown considerably since its inception, opens at the end of November. The shortlist for the awards will be announced on May 25th and winners will be announced on June 8th.

“The Awards are becoming a great institution,” says David Baggs. “Last year there were some fantastic entries and I look forwards to being part of the judging process to decide the winners in 2017. “

“Holding up to the world and the market place exemplary certified sustainable products for interiors projects is a huge part of GreenTag’s business. Helping to drive people and markets to fully embrace green interiors is our key agenda too because we want more people to understand both what their choices maybe doing to our planet and their health and facilitate designers to proactively choose products that help secure a safe future.”

The 2015 winners of the Green Interior Awards included designs from South Africa, Australia, USA and Austria. In 2017, the event is going further afield with support from prestigious organisations around the planet, including the Royal Architectural Institute of Canada, the Israel Green Building Council and other leading eco-labels around the world who, like GreenTag, support the growth of healthier interior design and materials in which to live and work.

To play a more vital role in the event, partnering opportunities with the International Green Interior Awards are still available. If you have a green brand, it’s a great way to put yourself before a high quality audience and key industry decision makers. Plus, connect with a unique Awards program that is 100% about rewarding the use of green interior products used in projects locally and across the globe.

http://greeninteriorawards.com.au/sponsorship-options/
http://greeninteriorawards.com.au