A1: The Federal Trade Commission has updated the Green Guides to prevent unfair or deceptive environmental claims in the marketplace. The Green Guides establish strict requirements and enforcement guidelines for environmental product claims. Additionally, Sustainable purchasing and supply chain requirements are being developed by many companies, government agents and purchasing agents. GreenCircle certification is compliant with the updated Green Guides and will certify your green claims to meet sustainable supply chain requirements and establish positive brand positioning.
A2: According to the Cone Green Gap Trend Tracker report, 23% of participants say that vague environmental claims should never be used; 79% want detailed information readily accessible on the product packaging; 77% of consumers said they would stop buying the company’s product if they felt misled; and 51% are more likely to buy a product with a third-party certification. As consumers become more educated and focused on environmental concerns, they are increasingly skeptical of suppliers’ green messaging. Since 2009, GreenCircle Certified, LLC has been providing forward-thinking companies with a competitive advantage – science-based, third-party verified environmental claims. As the Green Gap Trend Tracker reports confirm, having a third party certify your environmental product claims creates value and warrants consumer trust.
A: GreenCircle certifies environmental claims of products, buildings and manufacturing operations. Our certifications include:
A: The certification process begins with an initial inquiry to GreenCircle Certified, LLC. You can find information on how to contact us here. Once we receive your inquiry, our GreenCircle Administrator will contact you to schedule a conference call with a Sales Manager.
A: The initial upfront investment for a GreenCircle single-attribute certification typically ranges between $4,000 to $15,000; however, all pricing estimates are done on an individual basis and depend on the number and complexity of products, number of plants producing these products, and the plant locations/associated travel costs.
A: The normal time frame to complete a certification ranges from 3 to 6 weeks. This depends on the responsiveness of companies providing information during the data collection process and the scheduling of the plant site visit.
A: All product claims are recertified annually. It is important for GreenCircle to evaluate any changes within your manufacturing processes or product recipes to ensure continued compliance with the established criteria. Completion of recertification ensures continued transparency and further use of the GreenCircle mark.
A: GreenCircle utilizes a thorough evaluation process to verify sustainability claims. In accordance with ANSI standards for third-party certifications, data on GreenCircle certified products is publicly available through the GreenCircle Product Database. This provides trusted transparency for the manufacturer or building owner and establishes brand integrity in today’s discerning market.
A: The standards that are referenced for each certification are outlined below:
Carbon Footprint Reduction: The Greenhouse Gas Protocol, ISO 14064 Parts 1-3, and the IPCC Guidelines.
Closed Loop Product: CRF 261.4 (a) (8). Unlike other certifications for closed loop products, GreenCircle verifies that the manufacturer has an established process and system to take back the products for reuse and recycling into similar products within the manufacturing operation.
Life Cycle Assessment Optimized: LCAs must be conducted per ASTEM E1991-05 Standard Guide for Environmental Life Cycle Assessment (LCA) of Building Materials/Products, ISO 14040 Environmental Management Life Cycle Assessment Principles and Framework, and ISO 14044 Environmental Management Life Cycle Assessment Requirements and Guidelines.
Renewable/Bio-Based Content: Farm Bill 2008 definition of Bio-based, ASTM D6866, and FTC Green Guides.
Rapidly Renewable Resource Content: The U.S. Green Building Council’s definition of Rapidly Renewable Materials within their LEED for Building Design and Construction rating systems (2009 Editions).
Recyclable Material: ISO 14021and FTC Green Guides, Definitions of Recyclable.
Recycled Content: ISO 14021 and FTC Green Guides, Definitions of Recycled Content.
Renewable Energy Use: FTC Green Guides. GreenCircle will certify Renewable Energy Use if customer still has rights to their Renewable Energy Credits (RECs).
Sustainable Manufacturing Practices: ASTM 2129 Standard Practice for Data Collection for Sustainability Assessment of Building Products or NSF/ANSI Standard 140-Sustainable Carpet Assessment and NSF/ANSI Standard 332-Sustainability Assessment for Resilient Floor Coverings
Waste Diversion from Landfill: ISO 14021; CFR 261.1; EPA Definitions
Multi-Attribute: Standards listed above for applicable attributes.