3rd Party Green Product Certification Schemes
There are literally hundreds of ecolabels globally, but many have been developed in accordance with key international standards. These key International Standards Organisation (ISO) standards such as ISO 14024 (Type 1 Third Party Ecolabels) and ISO 17065 or ISO Guide 65 (Conformance Assessment Bodies) are common to the high level, quality ecolabels. ISEAL is a parallel system that some of the other major ecolabels such as FSC and FairTrade work with. Both of these systems have key concepts in common that ensure they are independent, unbiased, stable and operate with broad based stakeholder engagement and in an open and transparent manner.
Traditional Ecolabels e.g. EU Eco-Flower, Nordic Swan, Good Environmental Choice or Green Label, set up their own standards in accordance with the process enshrined in the ISO and ISEAL standards to ensure these independence and transparency outcomes. The individual organisations' standards are determined based on the intent of the organisation but typically to cover important life cycle issues assessed via a series of indicators and assessed on a pass fail basis. they do not unless explicitly stated, use life cycle analysis (LCA) in the assessment of the products.
Labels such as the Furntech/AFRDI Green Tick system and the Australian Carpet Institute's Environmetal Classification System (ECS), Global GreenTag and Cradle to Cradle do not undertake a pass/fail assessment but actually rate the performance of the product over a series of levels e.g. Bronze, Silver, Gold or Platinum (Cradle to Cradle (C2C) and GLobal GreenTag or 1-3 Green Ticks (AFRDI) or 1-3 Levels (ECS).
Other types of standard consider different whole of life approaches such as Global Global GreenTag and Cradle to Cradle (C2C). C2C considers the health and environmental impact or how a product is able to be recycled through 'technical' and 'organic' cycles and then applies a rating.
Global GreenTag is unique in that it uses health, environmental and social indicators together with whole of life, LCA to asses the product and create an EcoPOINT score (-1 to +1 to 2 decimal places) that is then used to provide the rating. Becuase it is LCA based, GreenTag is also compliant with a variety of other ISO Standards (ISO 14040, 14044 and 14067) and produces ISO 14025 compliant Environmental Product Declarations (EPDs).
To view a comprehensive matrix of the various ecolabels and their respective criteria for product certification, click here.
Use the side navigation or the links below to view each of the third party certifiers in more detail.