Leadership in Energy and Environmental Design (LEED)
LEED is a voluntary, consensus-based set of performance standards for the sustainable upgrades of existing buildings to help operate them in a sustainable way on an ongoing basis. Their mission is to promote the design, construction and operation of environmentally responsible, profitable, healthy facilities. Today, its membership has swelled to over 4,500 member organizations, growing at a rate of almost 200% in the past two years. The LEED Green Building Rating System is owned and managed by the USGBC.
The U.S. Green Building Council (USBC)
A leading national coalition of voluntary members guided to producing a new generation of buildings that deliver high performance inside and out. The USBC promotes buildings that are environmentally responsible, profitable, and healthy places to live and work. They certify green buildings. Their membership incorporates 5,000+ "corporate" members with 43 Local Chapters.
Green Seal is a U.S. based non-profit organization founded in 1989. GS establishes eco-labeling criteria/logo and certification process. (1st certification 1992)
All standards include performance requirements:
- Products should first do their job before environmental impacts are considered
- Poor performance may defeat environmental gains
- Green Seal requires concentrate of at least 1:8 dilution for most categories
The United States Environmental Protection Agency (EPA)
The EPA is a federal agency whose mission is "to protect human health and the environment." CPG is the federal government's buy-recycled program and is authorized by Congress under the Resource Conservation and Recovery Act (RCRA). EPA is required to designate products that are or can be made with recovered materials and to recommend practices for buying these products, including ranges of post consumer and total recovered materials content. Once a product is designated, procuring agencies are required to purchase it with the highest recovered material content level practicable. CPG-designated products from the cleaning industry include paper towels (40-60% postconsumer fiber), bathroom tissue (20-60% postconsumer fiber), and plastic trash bags (10-100% postconsumer content).CPG is referenced as the requirement to meet in the Sustainable Cleaning Products & Materials section of the LEED for Existing Buildings: Operations & Maintenance Green Building Rating System.
EPA Design for the Environment (DfE)
The Design for the Environment (DfE) Program is one of EPA's premier partnership programs. DfE works with a broad range of stakeholders to reduce risks to people and the environment by preventing pollution. In the cleaning industry, the program partners with manufacturers to improve the human health and environmental profile of their products.DfE reviews all product ingredients, by functional group (surfactant, solvent, etc.), identifying their key health and environmental characteristics and building a continuum of improvement toward safer chemicals. DfE review is green-chemistry focus, recognizing those products whose ingredients fall on the green end of the continuum. In addition, DfE has teamed with the GreenBlue Institute to develop the CleanGredients database, which uses the DfE method-ology and "green screen" to identify safer chemicals for cleaning products (see www.CleanGredients.org). Recognition from the DfE Program can be used to identify cleaning products that have demonstrated an environmentally preferable profile.
EcoLogoCM is a third-party ecolabelling program and the only standard in North America approved by the Global Ecolabelling Network, an international association of ecolabelling programs, as meeting the ISO 14024 environmental labeling standard. Like the U.S. government’s Energy Star Program, EcoLogoCM was originally founded by the Canadian government and is now widely used across North America. EcoLogoCM provides a market incentive to manufacturers and suppliers of environmentally preferable products and services in more than 120 product categories (more than 7,000 products currently certified), and thereby helps purchasers, consumers identify products and services that are less harmful to human health and the environment. EcoLogoCM certification provides the assurance that those products and services meet stringent environmental standards that have been verified by a third party auditor. EcoLogoCM has many standards for cleaning products including Floor Care Products (CCD-147), Hardsurface Cleaners (CCD-146), Hand Cleaners (CCD-104), Carpet & Upholstery Cleaners (CCD-148) among many others. EcoLogoM was established in 1988 and today is one of the most recognizable ecolabels in North America. EcoLogo certification is referenced as a requirement to meet for several categories of cleaning products in the Sustainable Cleaning Products and Materials section of the LEED for Existing Buildings: Operations & Maintenance Green Building Rating System.
Carpet and Rug Institute Green Label Certification
The Carpet & Rug Institute (CRI) is the national trade organization representing the carpet and rug industry. In an effort to promote better indoor air quality, CRI has developed the Green Label certification for carpet, cushion, adhesives and vacuum cleaners. To qualify for Green Label, vacuum cleaners must go through a stringent testing process that measures three key performance factors: soil removal, dust containment and carpet appearance retention. CRI Green Label vacuum cleaners, and other equipment that is demonstrably better for indoor air quality, are referenced as a requirement to meet in the Sustainable Cleaning Equipment section of the LEED for Existing Buildings: Operations & Maintenance Green Building Rating System.