Tag Archives: Environmental Product Declarations

Vietnam’s Updated LOTUS Rating Tool links- still opening doors for Global GreenTag Internationally Certified Products

In 2017, the Vietnam Green Building Council (VGBC) officially recognised both Global GreenTag International’s Certification Schemes and all GreenTag Certified products under the council’s then new LOTUS Rating System and officially listed them in the LOTUS technical manuals for Office Interiors and Small Interiors.

Since then LOTUS has introduced the same criteria into a broader range of rating tools including LOTUS:

David Baggs, CEO of Global GreenTag and Program Director of the Global GreenTagCertTM certification program, welcomes the additional leverage provided by the upgraded LOTUS developments to GreenTag certified product manufacturers. “It continues to be exciting to be a part of the VGBC’s dedication to evolve the green building industry in Vietnam,” says David. “VGBC has again increased our recognition for both our ecolabel schemes in the VGBC LOTUS rating tools expanding from interiors alone to new construction and interiors.”

“The VGBC remains very passionate about green products and green building and we remain excited that LOTUS remains the first rating tool in the Asia Pacific to formally recognise LCARate Platinum, Gold, Silver and Bronze tiers via variable credit points., uniquely and explicitly recognising individual tiers and applying 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 that products with LCARate “show a higher commitment from manufacturers and should be rewarded more than products with only an EPD produced.”

Expanding on this point, he said, “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.”

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 Construction and Interiors fitout and finishes products;
  • environmentally preferred cleaning products.

The credits include 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.

The Business Benefits Of Ecolabelling

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

 

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.

Pictograms                                                                 

Under the GHS there are nine new Hazard Pictograms:

chemical-classifications (1)

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/

 

Breaking Through Green Product Market Barriers –Workshop with Sustainable Brands Sydney 2016

Global GreenTag is presenting a workshop in Sydney next week to unpack the barriers standing in the way of green products having a greater traction in the marketplace – and exploring with participants solutions to overcome the conundrum.

“Enhanced ecolabelling can make all the difference,” says David Baggs, presenting the interactive session at the Sustainable Brands 2016 workshop on Wednesday June 29.

Participants who join the workshop will be encouraged to share their current experiences and barriers in accessing key green markets and ways to overcome them.

According to Baggs “Successful organisations, use both ecolabelling and robust metrics to inform and communicate performance to their stakeholders, but conventional ecolabelling is no longer enough”.

“Companies and stakeholders need both labelling and data on the sustainability impacts of products to access key markets that are demanding both easy consumer recognition as well as real metrics to integrate into management and corporate reporting but also address green procurement processes.

The evolution of integrated ecolabelling and enhanced Life Cycle Assessment methods now make that accessible to all companies,” says David.

Where once pass/fail ecolabels were sufficient, consumers and other stakeholders now seek performance ratings and real data at levels of detail that suit their needs.

Sometimes the same organisation can need simple forward facing sustainability consumer communication and then more detailed information to communicate product life cycle benefits to forward thinking companies.

David adds that: ‘Product Labels and Scorecards fulfill some of these needs but LCA reporting via Environmental Product Declarations (EPDs) are now required in specific sectors, where reporting now also needs different thinking to conventional Life cycle impact Analysis because circular economy characteristics necessitate Life Cycle Benefit Analysis (LCBA).

Such ‘Beyond LCA’ strategies are needed by sustainability managers to address LOHAS (Lifestyle of Health and Sustainability) markets and link product sustainability data to professional users’ procurement, corporate performance and company contributions to circular economy reporting.’

Sustainable Brands Sydney 2017 runs from June 27-29.

TO REGISTER FOR THE WORKSHOP, CLICK HERE