False Product Claims Abound

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GreenTag has recently uncovered a raft of false product claims amongst Applicants for certification. That said, all but one have acted quickly to rectify what could be characterised as ‘unintentional marketing overreach’.

In one instance though, GreenTag has had to actively withdraw certification from one existing certified product where the client refused to provide evidence to back up an ‘Ecolabel Certificate’ from a Hong Kong based organisation where a claim was made that the product was certified to ISO 14025 and this certificate had been added to their website during the period of GreenTag Certification. The existence of this suspect certificate was found by a GreenTag Product Assessor undertaking regular surveillance auditing.

For those familiar with life cycle analysis (LCA) and Environmental Product Declaration (EPD) terminology, you would immediately be suspect of this terminology and reference. The reason is as follows: ISO 10425 is a standard that requires a specific type of life cycle data to be presented in report form and any single page certificate claiming certification to this standard would have to be backed up by such a report.

We strongly believed that the certificate was bogus. It didn’t lend much credence to the certificate when the name of the standard on the certificate did not match the actual name of the standard and it was spelt out twice, each differently on the one certificate.

Given our suspicions we requested proof of the validity of the certificate and instead of doing so, the manufacturer refused to provide the evidence they said existed, instead getting their lawyers involved.

GreenTag’s Terms and Conditions require all applicants for certification to provide such evidence or risk not being certified or having their certification revoked if they do not comply with the agreement to provide evidence of claims. They also require Applicants to indemnify GreenTag against any costs in defending any actions by Applicants in this sort of instance.
Interestingly, we have since had email enquiry from at least one sustainability consultant asking if the certificate was valid because the professional didn’t believe it was..so its folly for the manufacturer to think that the market doesn’t know any better, they have already damaged their own reputation and don’t even realise it!

The lesson should have been an easy one, we provided some feedback to the manufacturer that would have helped save their brand reputation if they acted quickly to either withdraw the certificate or provide the required evidence, instead they are digging a deeper hole that could get expensive for their- both in dollar and brand value terms

Should the ACCC become aware of what appears to be deliberate behaviour they could end up with the same sort of action against them that the ACCC has just launched against ‘flushable wipes’ manufacturers (see link below).

Even though most manufacturers are genuine in their intentions when they make such claims, it remains that even these may be in breach of the Australian Consumer Law. Intentionally false claims are definitely actionable and indeed as I understand it, Directors can be held personally liable for such claims.

http://www.greencareer.net.au/news/-flushable-claims-face-court?nl=301

Desso is Leading the Flooring Sector into the Circular Economy

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During a visit to the Desso factory in the Netherlands recently,  Global GreenTag’s Facilitated Audit team viewed the flooring manufacturer’s remarkable new ‘Life’ bitumen backed carpet tile recycling plant, a patented new process that marks an innovation milestone in global recycling technology.

The Life plant design was developed by Desso with a substantial grant from the European Union and is able to recover all of the original materials from a used tile product and separate them back into individual materials of high purity suitable for re-use into a variety of products, including more carpet tiles.

The Life plant design is also modular and is intended to be installed in multiple locations worldwide where stockpiles of used tiles are in substantial supply. The modular plants will be available to take competitor tiles as well as those made by Desso.

Evidence of the innovative thinking behind the Life plant also includes a brilliant solution for packaging the resultant nylon fibre. This is cleverly executed by melting a thin layer of the fibre and as it is cools the recycled material is bundled into sausage like rolls ready for storage and transport using nothing but the bundled material itself.

The whole Life system represents a major breakthrough in the flooring sector and is a further significant step towards the circular economy. Congratulations on both of these new technologies Desso!

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What’s Under The Carpet At Desso?

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GreenTag’s Facilitated Audit team were met with an amazing LED light show under the carpet during a recent visit to the Desso manufacturing plant, south of Amsterdam in the Netherlands.

The visit was fascinating; firstly to be welcomed by our names displayed on the floor as we entered the foyer with their innovative new “Luminous Carpet’ technology and then followed by a tour of discovery.

Desso are pushing the boundaries in several areas and it was an exciting experience to witness their factory system that follows a design led focus to manufacturing that is unique to the flooring sector and see their revolutionary step change recycling technology.

The foyer’s programmable LED messages, which they use to welcome visitors are projected from underneath the foyer carpet using technology developed with Phillips and now available globally to the market. The unique white backing to the EcoBase range of Desso tiles allows the LED lighting to shine through and facilitate a massive new flexibility in signage delivery right where people are looking when they need signage particularly in an emergency situation.

The Desso design led thinking manifested then in even more tangible ways when we were introduced to their designer studio.  In the design studio are several different carpet tufting machines that allow designers to produce and sample their own designs. The significance of this became more obvious when we were shown two different sized tufting machines, one very small one that can literally produce a single tile at a time with totally flexible design capabilities and the other that can then upscale the design to create small customised batch runs of up to 200 square metres. Talk about impressive designer responsiveness.

Desso is also Leading the Flooring Sector into the Circular Economy

 

fibre-roll-desso

During the second part of our Desso factory visit, we viewed the manufacturer’s remarkable new ‘Life’ bitumen backed carpet tile recycling plant, a patented new process that marks an innovation milestone in global recycling technology.

The Life plant design was developed by Desso with a substantial grant from the European Union and is able to recover all of the original materials from a used tile product and separate them back into individual materials of high purity suitable for re-use into a variety of products, including more carpet tiles.

The Life plant design is also modular and is intended to be installed in multiple locations worldwide where stockpiles of used tiles are in substantial supply. The modular plants will be available to take competitor tiles as well as those made by Desso.

Evidence of the innovative thinking behind the Life plant also includes a brilliant solution for packaging the resultant nylon fibre. This is cleverly executed by melting a thin layer of the fibre and as it is cools the recycled material is bundled into sausage like rolls ready for storage and transport using nothing but the bundled material itself.

The whole Life system represents a major breakthrough in the flooring sector and is a further significant step towards the circular economy.  Congratulations on both of these new technologies Desso!

life-plant-desso