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Green 101: Standards

Each RPN Purchasing Guide reviews the Standards / Certifications available for identifying social and environmental product/service attributes. The following standards are some of the standards RPN uses as the qualifying criteria for populating our Products listings.

CA DGS logoCalifornia Gold Sustainable Carpet Standard

Product(s): Modular tile and broadloom carpet

Attribute(s): Multiple environmental attributes spanning product lifecycle

Summary: The California Department of General Services developed the California Gold Sustainable Carpet Standard for purchase of carpet for new construction, renovations, leases, Contract Multiple Award Schedule (CMAS), and replacement. Carpet vendors conducting business with the state are required to provide proof of independent third-party certification.

CFPA LogoChlorine Free Products Association (CFPA)

Product(s): Paper products, paper pulp

 Attribute(s): No chlorine use, no old growth, PCW recycled-content (PCF only)

Summary: Independent, not-for-profit accreditation & standard setting organization promoting third-party certified chlorine-free products and services. The CFPA has no financial interest in any of the companies whose products it certifies. Two certifications are issued: Processed Chlorine-Free (PCF) and Totally Chlorine-Free (TCF).

EcoLogoEcoLogo

Product(s): Over 300 product categories including: cleaners, paints, and more

Attribute(s): Multiple environmental attributes spanning product lifecycle

Summary: EcoLogo is the certification mark for the Environmental Choice program of Canada’s national environmental agency. The certification program is conducted by TerraChoice Environmental Marketing, a private, for profit environmental marketing services company located in Ottawa, Ontario.

Energy Star LogoENERGY STAR

Product(s): Over 50 categories including: electronics, lighting, and more

Attribute(s): Energy consumption

Summary: A joint program of the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency and Department of Energy certifying energy-efficient products.

EPEAT

Product(s): Desktop computers, integrated systems, monitors, notebooks

Attribute(s): Multiple environmental attributes spanning product lifecycle

Summary: The Electronic Products Environmental Assessment Tool (EPEAT) is an environmental certification program for electronics managed by the Green Electronics Council. The standards for computer products were developed by an IEEE stakeholder process that included government, environmental and health advocates, and industry. Bronze, Silver, and Gold levels of certification are available.

FSC LogoForest Stewardship Council (FSC)

Product(s): Forest products, including paper

Attribute(s): Multiple social and environmental attributes spanning product lifecycle

Summary: FSC sets social and environmental standards for forestry and forest products and accredits third-party certifiers who issue FSC certifications for forestry practices and chain of custody products.

Green-E logoGreen-e

Product(s): Renewable energy certificates, utility green pricing programs, competitive market electricity, and greenhouse gas emissions reductions

Attribute(s): Multiple environmental attributes spanning product lifecycle

Summary: Green-e is a non-profit certification and verification program administered by the Center for Resource Solutions, based in San Francisco.

Green Seal LogoGreen Seal

Product(s): Over 40 product categories including: cleaners, paints, and more

Attribute(s): Multiple environmental attributes spanning product lifecycle

Summary: Founded in 1989, Green Seal is a non-profit environmental standards-setting and certification agency based in Washington D.C. Standards are developed through an open stakeholder process. Evaluation of products and practices to be certified to Green Seal standards is done by its technical staff and external auditors and includes a comprehensive review of the product/practice components, supporting data, product/practice performance, and an on-site audit to ensure that all of a standards criteria are met. Certification requires annual monitoring to ensure continued compliance.

Greenguard LogoGREENGUARD

Product(s): Over 15 product categories including: cleaners, office electronics, paints, and more

Attribute(s): Indoor air quality

Summary: The GREENGUARD Environmental Institute is an independent non-profit, ANSI-authorized standards developer that offers three air emissions certifications: Indoor Air Quality; Children and Schools; and Building Construction.

SCS Indoor Advantage LogoScientific Certification Systems (SCS)

Product(s): Electricity, food and agriculture, manufacturing (including carpets and rugs), forest products (including FSC paper), fisheries and more

Attribute(s): Single and multiple social and environmental attributes spanning product lifecycle

Summary: SCS is a third-party provider of certification, testing and auditing services, and standards.

  State Agency Buy Recycled Campaign (SABRC)

 Product(s): Paint, Tires, and Paper

 Attribute(s): Multiple environmental attributes spanning product lifecycle


Summary: SABRC is a joint effort by California's Integrated Waste Management Board and the Department of General Services to implement State  law requiring all State agencies to purchase recycled-content products.

Comprehensive Procurement Guide (CPG)

 Product(s): Paper, Toner, Tires

 Attribute(s): Mutliple environmental attributes spanning product lifecycle

Summary: The EPA created the CPG in order to promote the use of recycled solid waste in production and purchasing. If the EPA designates a product type to the guide, all federal agencies must purchase  those products meeting CPG's minimum recovered content requirements.

The Association for the Advancement of Sustainability in Higher    Education (AASHE), Sustainability Tracking, Assessment, and Rating System (STARS)

Summary: STARS is a voluntary, self-reporting framework for gauging relative progress toward sustainability for colleges and universities.

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