The Green Workplace is starting an interesting series on Eco-labels and Certification related to the construction industry. Leigh Stringer, VP of HOK (and author of The Green Workplace) and designer Deborah Fuller are starting right at the beginning. It is an important issue; as Shane McQuade said in a guest post, they are "a confusing landscape for consumers, and a nightmare for manufacturers trying to comply with the fine print (or, as is too often the case, just giving up). "
One of the biggest problems is that so many of these labels are created and defined by the companies themselves, or made up to specifically confuse or deceive consumers. We could go on for pages about the wood wars between the Forest Stewardship Council (FSC) and the Sustainable Forestry Initiative, originally set up by the lumber industry as a less stringent alternative to the rapidly expanding FSC. There are label wars all over; read From Wood to Fish, Green Label Wars Are Spreading--but Which Ones Can You Trust?
Then there are issues of what the certification really means, and how tough is it. I was surprised to find that Owens Corning's pink fibreglass insulation could be Greenguard certified as it has a formaldehyde based binder, until I learned how they developed their standard.
The series is going to look at a whole range of certifications:
* Indoor Air Quality Certifications
* Wood Forestry Certifications
* Furniture Certifications
* Energy Certifications
* Carpet Certifications
* Green Housekeeping Certifications
* Textile Certifications
* Multiple Attribute Certifications
Watch for it at The Green Workplace
More on green labels:
Completely Confused by Green Labels? There's an App to Fix That
98% of Green Labeled Products are Actually Greenwashed
Can 400 Green Labels Do Anything But Confuse The World's Consumers?