There is a large variety of verifictions, calculation bases and certificates that support us in evaluation. In the meantime a market for certificates has been developed that makes a lot of money. Most of the green-labels, many of them established by the industry itself, bring more confusion than orientation. Each label has its own criteria not comparable to each other. Additionally there are legal regulations about reference values, target values, reference values, intervention values and orientation values. The approach making sustainability measurable and to underline its scientific background gives trust and credibility. CO2 footprints are calculated and eco balances created. Manufacturer pay a lot of money for and have the advantage to implement positive results in their corporate communication and marketing activities.
But no matter what they do to provide orientation and security to their customers they fail due to the complexity of sustainability and the unclear weighting between economical, ecological and socio-cultural aspects of sustainability. Regarding interior environments only single components are certified but each interior space exists of flooring, ceiling, walls and furnitures. The combination of different materials and their volatile ingredients are harmful for human health. Experience and knowledge about material characteristics are necessary to handle this challenge.
In the end the range of arguments of sustainable production and company structures is huge. Even experts question: Where lies the reverence value? Which weighting factors will be calculated? Are negative criteria compensated by positive criteria? Does the calculation take into account production processes including suppliers?
Sustainability will always be a borderline. Too many factors and too many opinions come together. There is no “right” and no “wrong” and a profound definition is still missing. So it is always an interpretation how sustainable things are.
Following you will find some relevant certificates that we have chosen based on our experience and know-how.
In the “Cradle to Cradle” CertifiedTM Product Standard, the materials and manufacturing processes of each product are comprehensively assessed in five categories (Material Health, Material Reutilization, Renewable Energy, Water Stewardship and Social Fairness). The standard applies equally to all products across various product categories or industries.
The certification needs to be renewed every two years. The Re-Certification process considers whether the strategies for optimization or phase out of substances or materials have been followed and whether the company proceeded with strategies regarding renewable energy, social and water issues. Under Version 3.1 of the program, there are five levels of product certification: Basic, Bronze, Silver, Gold, Platinum.
eco-INSTITUT Germany GmbH is an independent business. Independence in assessment and integrity in testing activities are guaranteed by ISO/IEC 17025 accreditation.
We provide manufacturers, commercial enterprises, importers and exporters from all over the world the highest testing quality benefitting our customers.
Aside from chemical, analytical and physical lab tests in compliance with national and international guidelines and standards, testing and development of quality requirements are also part of our service program as much as furthermore the certification with, for example, the eco-INSTITUT-Label of low-emission and low-pollutant products.
The Forest Stewardship Council® (FSC®) is a global not-for-profit organization that sets the standards for what is a responsibly managed forest, both environmentally and socially.
When timber leaves an FSC®-certified forest we ensure companies along the supply chain meet our best practice standards also, so that when a product bears the FSC® logo, you can be sure it’s been made from responsible sources. In this way, FSC® certification helps forests remain thriving environments for generations to come, by helping you make ethical and responsible choices at your local supermarket, bookstore, furniture retailer, and beyond.
We don’t set these standards alone. We consult with our global network of environmental, social, and economic members to ensure that forest standards represent everyone’s needs, from indigenous peoples to endangered animal species.
FSC® members include some of the world’s leading environment groups e.g. WWF and Greenpeace, social organizations e.g.the National Aboriginal Forestry Association of Canada, businesses e.g. Tetra Pak and Mondi PLC as well as forest owners and managers, processing companies, campaigners, and individuals like you.
Der internationale Verein für zukunftsfähiges Bauen und Wohnen – natureplus e.V. gründet sich auf einen breiten Trägerkreis aus Umweltorganisationen, Verbraucherberatungsstellen und Prüfinstituten sowie führenden Firmen und Verbänden aus Industrie und Handel. Der Verein versteht sich als Wegweiser zu nachhaltigen Bauprodukten und bietet Bauprofis und Verbrauchern transparente und wissenschaftlich fundierte Daten und Informationen zu nachhaltigen Bauprodukten.
In diesem Sinne zeichnet das natureplus-Produktlabel europaweit herausragende Baustoffe auf nachwachsender oder mineralischer Rohstoffbasis aus, die sich der regelmäßigen Qualitätsprüfung unterziehen. Dabei ist das Ziel, ein Produkt ganzheitlich zu bewerten und sowohl technische Aspekte, wie auch ökologische und soziale Parameter mit einzubeziehen. Das Gütezeichen ist ein transparentes Planungswerkzeug für Architekten, Handwerker und Bauherren und Wegweiser zu gesunden Lebensräumen.
ÖkoControl is the association for quality standards of ecological furnishing houses. About 50 ecologically committed furniture retailers established the association in 1994. The aim of these eco-pioneers among interior designers is to provide consumers, retailers and manufacturers with more assurance in healthy living and sleeping.
With ÖkoControl the association has created an effective instrument to control the products offered. A piece of furniture or a mattress will only be certified with the green ÖkoControl seal after it has passed the stringent tests according to the ÖkoControl criteria at independent testing institutes. Further information about healthy furnishing as well as guides and checklists can be found on the association’s website at:
PEFC is an independent, not-for-profit organization promoting sustainable forest management by certifying forests and the products that come from them.
PEFC stands for Programme for the Endorsement of Forest Certification and the PEFC ‘green trees’ logo is your assurance that wood-based products – from timber to furniture, packaging to paper – come from sustainable sources.
PEFC works all over the world, ensuring that forests meet its high standards of sustainability and that the wood fibre and timber they produce is carefully tracked through the supply chain as it is made into a wide variety of products. It’s a really useful guide to determine whether what you are about to buy originates from responsibly managed forests.
PEFC’s approach to sustainable forest management includes detailed environmental, social and economic requirements, with independent auditors verifying compliance of forest managers on a regular basis. This level of assurance has helped PEFC become the world’s largest sustainable forest certification system.
Today, some 10,000 companies and 230 million hectares of forest in 30 countries are certified, making PEFC the leading sustainable forest certification system in the world.
The high standards of PEFC include requirements to:
Safeguard ecologically important forest areas | Protect and enhance biological diversity | Prohibit forest conversions | Prohibit most hazardous chemicals | Prohibit genetically modified trees | Respect rights of workers and indigenous peoples’ | Encourage local employment | Comply with fundamental ILO conventions | Provide consultation with local people and stakeholders | Respect for traditional land rights an local customs