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Check The Green Label: 7 Sustainability Certifications You Should Know

Manage specificationprocurement, and product data at scale. Take on bigger projects with confidence and grow your firm with  FohlioSchedule a demo or book a consultation with one of our account managers to explore these features today.

Specifying sustainable materials and components are only a facet of the amount of things that you can do to make your business more sustainable. An environmental certification is a way to identify whether your company and its business practices are in line with sustainability standards and criteria. You can think of them as markers that indicate your legitimacy- for both sustainability and business. 

A green business accreditation offers the opportunity to position your firm as a socially responsible one that is dedicated to environmental preservation. It enables you to draw in more clients who are as enthusiastic about the cause as you are. Having that third-party validation can make all the difference as customers become more skeptical of greenwashing, which is the practice of making false or unsupported claims about the environmental benefits of a good, service, or business practice.

Having a certification not only shows that your company is socially responsible, green certifications can also open other opportunities, such as:

  • Increase eligibility in bids
  • Increase chances for stakeholder investments 
  • Attract new businesses that are also interested in sustainability

With that being said, here are some you should watch out for:

For Those In Building Design and Architecture:

1. LEED

Check The Green Label: 7 Sustainability Certifications You Should Know, Fohlio, Sustainability Standards, Green Certifications, Sustainability Certifications, Sustainable Architecture, Sustainable Design, Green Building, LEED, BREEAM, LEED Accreditation, The Kroon

With 1.85 million square feet being certified daily, professionals from all over the world have made LEED, a.k.a. Leadership in Energy and Environmental Design, the most popular third-party certification for green buildings. 

You can assure that buildings that have earned the LEED certification use fewer resources, are more environmentally friendly and have lower operating costs. Additionally, they contain strategies and incorporate technologies that improve the building's occupants' health, well-being, and safety.

How? A project must adhere to prerequisites and credits that cover carbon, energy, water, waste, transportation, materials, health, and indoor environmental quality in order to be awarded a LEED certification. Projects are subject to GBCIGreen Business Certification Inc.'s verification and review procedure and are then graded according to their degree of LEED certification.

Check The Green Label: 7 Sustainability Certifications You Should Know, Fohlio, Sustainability Standards, Green Certifications, Sustainability Certifications, Sustainable Architecture, Sustainable Design, Green Building, LEED, BREEAM, LEED Accreditation, The Kroon

An exemplary in LEED Buildings: Kroon Hall, the Yale School of Forestry & Environmental Studies, is a platinum-certified LEED Building. The building was designed by Hopkins Architects and Planners, in collaboration with Centerbrook Architects and Atelier Ten Environmental Designers. 

According to Stephen Kellert, a professor at the School of Forestry & Environmental Studies, the Kroon is a carbon-neutral building, and features a highly efficient heating system, ground-sourced heat pumps, solar panels for roofing, and makes use of wood from Yale’s very own forest. The goal for the building design was to use 81% less water, 58% less energy, and to depend on 25% of its electrical energy from renewable sources. 

2. BREEAM

Check The Green Label: 7 Sustainability Certifications You Should Know, Fohlio, Sustainability Standards, Green Certifications, Sustainability Certifications, Sustainable Architecture, Sustainable Design, Green Building, LEED, BREEAM, LEED AccreditationSince 1990, BREEAM standards that have received third-party certification have assisted in enhancing company value at every stage, from design through construction to use and restoration. Millions of buildings are registered worldwide to work toward BREEAM's comprehensive strategy for achieving ESG, health, and net zero goals.

How? BREEAM uses a more scientific and rigorous approach to fulfilling standards compared to LEED’s qualitative approach.

Check The Green Label: 7 Sustainability Certifications You Should Know, Fohlio, Sustainability Standards, Green Certifications, Sustainability Certifications, Sustainable Architecture, Sustainable Design, Green Building, LEED, BREEAM, LEED Accreditation, The Kroon

One of the most cutting-edge structures in the world for self-generation and energy independence through renewable energy is the CIne building (Norvento Enerxa Innovation Centre). With an area of more than 4,000 square feet is devoted to the Norvento headquarters, which is housed in the city of Lugo and specializes in renewable technologies. The CIne office building in Spain achieved the highest BREEAM ES Outstanding rating.

Learm more: Specify Healthy and Sustainable Materials [in Seconds!] With Fohlio

For Those In Manufacturing And Purchasing:

1. Green Seal

Check The Green Label: 7 Sustainability Certifications You Should Know, Fohlio, Sustainability Standards, Green Certifications, Sustainability Certifications, Sustainable Architecture, Sustainable Design, Green Building, LEED, BREEAM, LEED Accreditation

The science-backed environmental certification standards offered by Green Seal are reliable, transparent, and crucial for facilitating manufacturers, purchasers, as well as the common consumer in making ethical purchasing decisions that have a positive influence on industrial and consumer behavior. 

Thousands of goods and services in hundreds of categories have received certification. The use of the Green Seal symbol signifies a business's adherence to a rigorous set of standards created to achieve leadership levels in sustainability and a sustained commitment to public health and the environment.

GS-54 Architectural Thermal Insulation MaterialsCheck The Green Label: 7 Sustainability Certifications You Should Know, Fohlio, Sustainability Standards, Green Certifications, Sustainability Certifications, Sustainable Architecture, Sustainable Design, Green Building, LEED, BREEAM, LEED Accreditation, The KroonAn example of green seal products are those that fall under the "GS-54" standards, which specifically cover green seal-approved architectural thermal insulation materials. The requirements cover major effects at various stages of the life cycles of various insulation types. Additionally, it offers a precise and well-defined direction for product design.

The standard includes several different product categories, such as blankets, boards, blown-in foams, and reflective insulation. 

2. Cradle to Cradle

Check The Green Label: 7 Sustainability Certifications You Should Know, Fohlio, Sustainability Standards, Green Certifications, Sustainability Certifications, Sustainable Architecture, Sustainable Design, Green Building, LEED, BREEAM, LEED Accreditation, Cradle To Cradle Accreditation

The Cradle to Cradle Certification,  is based on the acclaimed book by William McDonough and Michael Braungart of MBDC (McDonough Braungart Design Chemistry). CDC certifies that a product employs environmentally safe and healthy materials and is made to be recycled, composted, or otherwise reused. It must also take into account the usage of renewable energy and energy-efficient manufacturing. Other than making a material reusable again, the CDC ensures that the manufacturing process must conserve water and maintain water quality.

IMG_WEB_Heradesign_superfine_AK_Knauf_2021

A CDC gold certified product is Hera Designs' one layer acoustic ceilings. They are typically made out of renewable materials like water, wood, and, magnesite and have long lifespan of eighty-plus years which makes it an excellent choice for those looking for sustainable acoustic solutions. 

What makes this product even more awesome is the fact that you can recycle them. That means that even at the end of their lifecycle, you can still make use of them. Talk about zero-waste. 

Learn more: How to Achieve Net-Zero: The Art of Sustainable Procurement

For Those In Custom Home Building:

1. National Green Building Standard

Check The Green Label: 7 Sustainability Certifications You Should Know, Fohlio, Sustainability Standards, Green Certifications, Sustainability Certifications, Sustainable Architecture, Sustainable Design, Green Building, LEED, BREEAM, LEED Accreditation, The Kroon

The National Green Building Standard accreditation is much more than just a statement about just how energy-efficient a house is. It offers unbiased confirmation from a third party that a house, apartment complex, or land development was planned and constructed to achieve high performance in six essential areas: site design, resource efficiency, water efficiency, energy efficiency, indoor environmental quality, and building operation & maintenance. It is the only residential green building rating system that has been accepted by ANSI as an American National Standard is NGBS at the moment.

National Green Building Standard Emerald certified and LEED Platinum Certified home in New Canaan CT

A Certified NGBS Emerald level home built by BPC Green Builders

2. The Energy Star

​​Check The Green Label: 7 Sustainability Certifications You Should Know, Fohlio, Sustainability Standards, Green Certifications, Sustainability Certifications, Sustainable Architecture, Sustainable Design, Green Building, LEED, BREEAM, LEED AccreditationThe United States oversees the Energy Star Program. This is one of the most well-known eco-labels issued by the Environmental Protection Agency. This voluntary program ranks the energy efficiency of devices like electronics, lighting fixtures, and appliances. Additionally, Energy Star offers certification for new homes with outstanding heating and cooling performance and Energy Star-certified fixtures and appliances.

Check The Green Label: 7 Sustainability Certifications You Should Know, Fohlio, Sustainability Standards, Green Certifications, Sustainability Certifications, Sustainable Architecture, Sustainable Design, Green Building, LEED, BREEAM, LEED Accreditation, The Kroon, Solar Thermal Collectors

The Energy Star recommends the use of products that conserve energy. A good example is this solar thermal collector. This allows homes to use renewable energy (like heat from the sun) to be used instead of having to count on electricity for generating heat for water. 

3. The WaterSense Label 

Check The Green Label: 7 Sustainability Certifications You Should Know, Fohlio, Sustainability Standards, Green Certifications, Sustainability Certifications, Sustainable Architecture, Sustainable Design, Green Building, LEED, BREEAM, LEED Accreditation

​​Consumers may identify products and initiatives that conserve water without compromising on performance or quality thanks to the WaterSense label.  Products that are 20% more water-efficient than average products in the same category have received recognition from the Environmental Protection Agency (EPA). In categories including toilets, faucets, urinals, and showerheads, the goods must also perform on par with or better than those of their less efficient equivalents.

 

Check The Green Label: 7 Sustainability Certifications You Should Know, Fohlio, Sustainability Standards, Green Certifications, Sustainability Certifications, Sustainable Architecture, Sustainable Design, Green Building, LEED, BREEAM, LEED Accreditation, The Kroon

The Holiday Inn at San Antonio International Airport.

This hotel has 397 guest rooms in total and is mostly occupied all year round. It was a pretty old hotel- so its fittings needed an upgrade. 

Thanks to a local program called WaterSaver Hotel program developed by the San Antonio Water System, the Holiday Inn was able to change up their outdated toilet and lavatories into WaterSense tank-type toilet and lavatory faucet specifications which were very much water-efficient. 

With that move, The Holiday Inn acquired savings for up to 7 million gallons of water per year. To put this into perspective- that's almost 3 olympic sized swimming pools of water savings!

Learn more: Specify Products That Make A Difference: A Checklist For Identifying Sustainable Materials

If there is a future, it will be green. 

With the help of strictly regulated certifications like these, you can assure that your company or any other company awarded by these accreditations, prioritize resource conservation and environmentalism as part of their operational goals, and are taking the right processes and steps to do so. 

Your company can achieve tremendous feats, too. Both for the benefit of your company, as well as socially, and economically. All it takes is the right tools and knowledge to put your business at the forefront of making a positive impact in your industry. Level up your business with a green certification.

Manage specificationprocurement, and product data at scale. Take on bigger projects with confidence and grow your firm with  FohlioSchedule a demo or book a consultation with one of our account managers to explore these features today.

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