This is a guide to green labeling certification from a commercial player in the green field. Some time ago we had our Eco Bins certified as Carbon Neutral products by NOCO2 and have learned a lot from the process.
Your company might be poised to leap for the bandwagon – taking the first logical steps to clean up your company’s act. An obvious place to start would be a proactive shift to recycling and implementing eco office cleaning to underpin a solid corporate policy for minimising your footprint and practicing sustainability.
An environmental certification label gives a company a competitive advantage. But are the certification labels really as ethically and ecologically excellent as the average consumer seems to assume?
Manufacturers emphasize the positive attributes of their products and play down the less attractive attributes. That is the nature of the beast. The myriad of Green Labeling Certification organisations are helping to leash the wild exaggeration and deception, prescribing varying degrees of environmental standards.
Let the warning bells ring before you embark on the journey of certification, you must first ask: who regulates the regulators? Are the standards of the certification sticker set high enough to satisfy you and your market?
Consumers have only to glimpse a green label and conclude that the product or service has an overall stamp of approval. If they are wrong, it’s your company that may face the brutal blow from the Australian Consumer’s Act.
The label merely indicates that your company meets the criteria specified by that organisation, not necessarily that it meet the high-falutin ideals that the consumer has naïvely, but justifiably assumed. As an eco-company, don’t shirk from those ideals. Do your homework and you will be able to dive smoothly through the hoops of consumer expectation.
Alpha and Omega: The ‘Life Cycle’ Method
Our commercial cleaning company quickly saw that part of the solution was adopting the ‘life cycle’ method of green labeling. This approach helps us stick to the high road with respect to the law, as it looks at the environmental impact of the product or service from the birth of its component parts to its consumed and discarded remains.
In our view – as an ethical environmentally-minded cleaning business – if you are inclined to embark upon the environmentally responsible route you are to be admired and emulated, we fervently recommended you to take the ‘life cycle’ approach.
Do the job properly and be thorough in your analysis of your company’s footprint; from raw material production, manufacture, distribution and disposal including all the transportation steps in between. And save us all – both planet and reputation.
Certifications to Trust
With a dose of our former disclaimer and prescribing pinches of salt, these organisations can provide trustworthy environmental certification for Australian businesses.
NoCO2 is an Australian company which assists businesses to attain carbon neutral status.
GreenBizCheck provides certification using a rigorous 260+ point online assessment incorporating energy, water, waste, transport, supply chain and voluntary carbon measurement and offsetting.
The Greenhouse Friendly™ initiative was launched in 2001 and now forms part of the Australian Government’s Greenhouse Challenge Plus program. Greenhouse gas emissions are offset through approved greenhouse gas reduction projects within Australia.
The Gold Standard
The Gold Standard is a non-profit foundation, based in Basel Switzerland used by carbon offset providers. All Gold Standard projects are tested for environmental quality by registered third parties.