Tag Archives: GBCA

‘OPENING UP’ – Debbie Hessenberger of Vertilux Corporation Speaks to Global GreenTag International

As part of a new feature series with manufacturers of Global GreenTag Certified and Declared products, our first guest represents Australian manufacturer Vertilux.  Debbie Hessenberger, National Marketing Manager for the company that produces sustainable window coverings, provides some interesting responses to our questions that probes what it is like to be a green-focused manufacturer in 2020.

Name:  Debbie Hessenberger

Position: National Marketing Manager, Vertilux

Location: Melbourne, Victoria

Linkedin page https://au.linkedin.com/company/vertilux

 

  1. What inspires you about Vertilux as a green focused product manufacturer?

Everything we do has impact and for me, it’s about actively changing the way companies view sustainability and social responsibility, from mandatory to an opportunity to innovate. As a pioneer in the window coverings industry, Vertilux’s resilience and ability to lead insightful design solutions for the built environment inspires me as this is what creates positive change for our planet and a sustainable future.

  1. How Important is having Global GreenTag Product Certifications and Declarations for Vertilux – and Why?

Environmental certifications are positively changing the way materials are being viewed in the marketplace and offer transparency as well as demonstrating compliance with building regulations. Global GreentTag’s certification pathway has definitely assisted Vertilux in cementing our position as a sustainable leader and supplier to the commercial market.  Additionally, it has created an ease of use to specifiers in facilitating the exchange of information to enable a future of healthier buildings and its occupants.

  1. What would you like to see evolve or improve in the green building industry to ensure that green buildings or interior projects are met and exceeded?

Unfortunately, products are still getting swapped out at build stage with imposters pretending to have and/or supply our products knowing full well the specification and documentation for such are submitted and approved early in the process.  I am currently discussing this topic with GBCA about what can be done to eradicate this problem.

Additionally, I am looking forward to the seeing the introduction of GBCA’s online directory due later this year of pre-approved products and in particular Responsible Product Scores (RPVs) which will help to clearly differentiate Vertilux from its competitors.

  1. As a snapshot in this moment and time in 2020, what is it that you would like to share about what you are doing in your office space or home environment that you feel bears testimony that you are living and working sustainably?

I have been working on some exciting new product development initiatives, which will only further entrench our authenticity and credibility as a green focused product manufacturer.  This will coincide with a revamped website and a new commercial case.  Personally, I have also been using this time to update my knowledge and capability in this area to ensure successful product positioning in the most honest, impactful way to support our products unique value.

VISIT HERE the pages dedicated to Vertilux products that are certified under the Global GreenTag International Certification Standard

New Rating Tool Search Function Allows Rapid Product Identification

Global GreenTag has activated a new search function on all of its websites to stimulate the building industry to look even more closely at Global GreenTag’s rating tool enabled certified products.  It is a move that will greatly assist architects, designers and product specifiers to quickly locate GreenTag certified products that contribute towards satisfying Features and Credits under the WELL Building Standard® Rating equivalencies as well as credits for Green Star® … The ‘IS’ Infrastructure Sustainability rating tool and LEED with more  product connections and other building programs to follow progressively.

Recognition of Global GreenTag Cert TM by the WELL Building Program™ which comes under the International WELL Building Institute™ (IWBI™) has also gone one step further with our ‘Equivalency’ recognition under the Alternative Compliance pathways present now on the WELL website and WELL mobile APP.

It has been a busy period for our assessment team since theWELL recognition of GreenTag certification took effect in January, reports GreenTag’s CEO and Technical Director, David Baggs.  “We are pleased to announce that the first three Global GreenTag certified products to roll out with contributions towards Features under the WELL Building Standard® included in their Certification are Storage Lockers by InterLoc Lockers,   METALWORKS® Ceilings & Walls by Armstrong World Industries Ceiling Division and Office Worktops by EM UTick.

“Alongside GreenTag’s primary job of certifying products, we are committed to creating strategic opportunities for manufacturers who want to leverage their GreenTag certification deeper and further into the sustainable building industry.””

In addition to WELL, the building rating tool browser function installed on GreenTag’s websites allows for site visitors to drill down for products that also align with:

  • Green Star® Australia – GBCA,
  • LEED v4 – USGBC,
  • IS Rating – ISCA and,
  • Green Star® Africa – GBCSA.

Aligning Products For WELL Building Projects

“With its core deliverable of health, WELL is a significant player globally for our manufacturers who have the right Global GreenTag certification to step into,” says David.

“According to figures on the International WELL Building Institute website, there’s over 600 projects registered worldwide under the WELL program and some 13 projects registered throughout Australia.”

Manufacturers with potential products ready for WELL under the Global GreenTag certification system will need to align under the following:

  • Under WELL Feature 04, products only need to be certified under Global GreenTag International Standard v.4.0;
  • Under WELL Features 09,11, 25, 26, 41 and 97 products must also qualify under Global GreenTag’s health transparency tool, the Product Health DeclarationTM (PhDTM );
  • To be awarded a Global GreenTag PhD, products first need to be certified under the Global GreenTag International Standard v.4.0 (and additional fees or charges may be required to upgrade products that are currently certified under Version 3.2 of the standard).

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

Please Note: WELL™ and IWBITM  are trademarks used with permission from the International WELL Building InstituteTM

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

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 Sponsors Seminar on Certification at Sustainable Brands Sydney 2016

Global GreenTag is proudly sponsoring and leading a seminar and panel discussion on Certification at Sustainable Brands Sydney on June 28.

Certification: Transparency Is Crucial For Building Trust And Credibility is the title of the segment and GreenTag’s Chief Executive Officer and Program Director David Baggs will be leading off a round of talks to explore the current issues of applications and perceptions of certifications within organisations.

The session will focus on why sustainability certifications should have clearly defined goals and should continually work towards achieving them with demonstrable, measurable outcomes.

Improving standards and scheme design should be an ongoing process, where standards are regularly reviewed and audited, where necessary, in order to incorporate new research and experience, claim MCI the Sustainable Brands Sydney event organisers.

These two measures ensure that everyone – whether it’s the buying public, the sustainable product manufacturer, or the certification itself – is on the same page, knowing exactly what the ecolabel represents and best practice is being upheld.

The big questions to be asked during the overall session will be: HOW valid are certifications for organisations and products? Are we over-certifying, and HOW does industry cope with the sheer number of them?

In the session, delegates will discover HOW brands can align themselves with a certification most valid for their business and their consumer and HOW to use them to access existing and new markets.

Global GreenTag and David Baggs will be joined in this session by:

  • Terence Jeyaretnam (moderating the session) of Climate Change and Sustainability Services
  • Kate Harris – Chief Executive Officer of Good Environmental Choice Australia (GECA)
  • Trudy-Ann King – Executive Director, Market Engagement and Communications of GBCA (Green Building Council of Australia)
  • Adam Beaumont – Chief Executive Officer of Forest Stewardship Council (FSC)
To register and join Sustainable Brands Sydney (June 27-29) click here: http://events.sustainablebrands.com/sb16syd/

GreenTag major feature in Architecture & Design Online

GGT- A&D Infolink WebskinGlobal GreenTag has stepped further out to enhance it’s engagement with the A & D marketplace with a major marketing program with Architecture & Design in 2016, powered by InfoLink online. Pictured here is the site webskin.

Following up on our 2015 Sponsorship of the GBCA’s brand new ‘Design & As Built’ rating tool Education program and its new ‘Sustainable Products’ and ‘Life Cycle Impacts’ credits, GreenTag has once again upped the game.

March marks the start of a year long campaign with Australia’s largest architecture, building and design industry media resource.

Keep an eye out for our messages as you peruse this information rich site that is a hub for all the professionals creating Australia’s buildings.

Along with unrivaled access to expert advice and updates direct from suppliers, Architecture & Design arms building professionals with the information they need in order to add value and resolve their clients’ challenges with the best design and construction solutions.