Which green labels and certifications are reliable? 4

In recent years, “green” has become a household term, used to describe a wide array of products and processes. But how do we know if something is truly environmentally friendly or sustainable?

Image from BuildingGreen.com

Various industries and companies have applied labels and certifications as a possible solution to inform consumer decisions. 

Wood, cotton, appliances, buildings, and restaurants are just a few of the areas with their own labels or rating schemes. The website, EcoLabel Index, currently tracks over 400 labels and certifications around the world! But just because certain products or locations have a label or certification, what does that really mean? How do we avoid greenwashing?  

Here are some things to consider:

  • How do you define “green”? Green is a color between blue and yellow. To be sustainable, you must balance the three responsibilities within your business model.
  • Do your research! Look into the ingredients on the label, the metrics used for certifications, and the background of the certification agency. Websites like the GoodGuide can be an excellent resource.

While many green labels and certifications have faced criticism, it is undeniable that they have motivated demand for sustainable solutions, and consumers are becoming more educated about the products they use. This has increased the competition among various industries, ultimately raising the bar for the best in the class. 

Tell us what you think – which labels or certifications do you find reliable and why?

4 comments

  1. Nice post about ‘Green’ label. I think ISO 14001 can satisfies the term ‘green’ at least in industrial environment. Proper 14001 training helps organization to implement best environmental system within the work area.

  2. In designing environmentally optimal buildings, the objective is to minimize the total environmental impact associated with all life-cycle stages of the building project. However, building as a process is not as streamlined as an industrial process, and varies from one building to the other, never repeating itself identically. In addition, buildings are much more complex products, composed of a multitude of materials and components each constituting various design variables to be decided at the design stage. A variation of every design variable may affect the environment during all the building’s relevant life-cycle stages.

  3. Generally I do check the green labels, but with a pinch of salt as I know many of the cmails are greenwash’ and fairly meaningless.If it’s an electrical item then I do check the label carefully every time and it’s usually the first thing I would want to consider when buying white goods. An item that uses less power costs me less to use and is actually worth paying a little bit more for. If the electrical item is very efficient, but much more expensive, I may decide to go for one that is less efficient, but would never buy a fridge, washing machine, etc that had a poor energy rating. I also like to buy brands that have a reputation for lasting a long time, but this is becoming increasingly difficult as everything seems to break just after the guarantee runs out.

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