Presentation on theme: "Behind the Green Green Building Claims and Your Business Dr. Robert J. Hrubes Senior Vice President, Scientific Certification Systems Presented to: National."— Presentation transcript:
Behind the Green Green Building Claims and Your Business Dr. Robert J. Hrubes Senior Vice President, Scientific Certification Systems Presented to: National Green Builders Products Expo May 29, 2009
Provides global leadership in third-party environmental and sustainability certification, auditing, testing and standards development 25 years of experience Programs span a wide cross- section of industries and recognize achievements in green building, product manufacturing, forestry, retail, agricultural production, fisheries and energy. 150+ staff, auditors and affiliates worldwide Scientific Certification Systems A few of our clients
What are “Green” Claims? Public or private assertion/claim incorporating some sort of environmental (and, more recently, social) attribute Rapidly becoming ubiquitous, almost literally involving every sector of business-to-business and retail commerce As “green” lacks a universal definition, it can mean anything
Meaningful “Green” Terms Recycled content Readily biodegradable Low VOCs Energy efficient Water efficient Sourced from well-managed forests Organic
What About “Sustainability”? Essentially, “sustainable” has become a term equivalent to “green” and subject to the same pitfalls Its origins are in sustained yield management of biotic systems such as fisheries and forests Now:
Green Certification – Instantly! “If you look for GREEN things, if you really care for environmental change, global warming, greenhouse gases, recycling, CO2 emissions, climate change, compact fluorescent lights (CFL), compost, Al Gore, this certification is for you. Get your Free GREEN Certificate today and be part of this fast growing community!”
Even in Down Economy, Green Building Grows LEED-specified projects increased 50% from 2006-2008 In 2005, 13 U.S. state governments had implemented green building initiatives By 2008, 31 states had implemented green building initiatives
Federal Government Incentives Energy Economic Stabilization Act of 2008 passes tax credits to homeowners and builders of energy-efficient buildings Incentives for purchasers of window, door and roof products that demonstrate improved environmental performance
Contractors Choose Green Products Thermal and moisture protection Doors and windows Wood and plastics Source: McGraw-Hill, Commercial & Institutional Green Building SmartMarket Report, 2009 Percentage
How Can I Promote My Business’ Environmental Story?
Types of Environmental Claims First-Party – self proclaimed, as in material safety data sheets or marketing materials Second-Party – involves a trade association or outside consulting firm in setting a standard and verifying claims Third-Party – verified by an independent body
Credible Environmental Claims are: Factual – basis for the claim is transparent (standards-based or science-based) Significant – real environmental benefits that are substantial, without hidden tradeoffs Progressive – encourages continuous improvement Independently verified
Third-Party Certification Provides: Corroborated and measurable environmental and social benefits Opportunities for improvement, pathways toward greater sustainability Independent review to guide truthful advertising Most credible claims
Example: Trusted Third-Party Certification Forest Stewardship Council (FSC) Voluntary, internationally recognized forest management standards Developed by consensus, multi-stakeholder process Supports biodiversity, protects high conservation value forests, provides for human benefits, ensures long-term timber supplies Certificates holders must be audited annually Certification bodies must be accredited and audited annually
Example: Trusted Third-Party Certification FSC certification follows the supply chain: Forest Management certification Chain-of-Custody (CoC) certification tracks wood from forest to end-use customer Currently expanding to address new issues in forestry including carbon sequestration and controlled wood Included in USGBC LEED program (MR-7)
Example: SCS Indoor Advantage™ Gold Certification program for interior building materials, furnishings and finishes Imposes the toughest limitations on indoor air emissions in the building products sector Program requirements: Uses the health-based exposure limits required by State of California for school children Provides greater environmental accountability than any other indoor air quality certification program. Certified products comply with: Collaborative for High Performance Schools (CHPS); California 01350 Special Environmental Requirements; BIFMA X7.1 Low-Emitting Furniture; and LEED EQ 4.1, 4.2, and 4.5
Example: Recycled Content For wood, plastics, metals, fibers and more Pre-consumer and/or post-consumer recycled content percentage is calculated based on factory data, site visit and, in some cases, lab testing Certified products comply with: LEED MR credits; can be used toward NSF-140 Sustainable Carpet Assessment
Retail Programs with Third-Party Support Retailers create their own eco-label brands or seek evaluation and/or enhancement of an existing in-house program Provide meaningful product information and solutions so that customers can make more environmentally conscientious purchases Turn commitments to sustainability and social responsibility into marketable brands and services
Be Skeptical. Look Behind the Label. Image source: BSR, Food and Agriculture Industry Trends Report, October 2007 Is there a certification standard and is it rigorous? Is the audit protocol transparent? Will hidden or undisclosed tradeoffs more than offset the environmental attribute? Is it truly an independent, third-party program?
What Lies Ahead for Green Claims and Environmental Certification?
Considering the Full Life-Cycle and Addressing Tradeoffs Image Source: BSR, Food and Agriculture Industry Trends Report, October 2007 Environmental impacts from entire chain of custody — producers, distributors, importers, brokers, retailers Social responsibility Packaging Energy use in production, packaging, processing, and transport Carbon footprint Product quality and safety