Standards recognition & assessment types
ecospecifier is a third party verifier and source of independent and unbiased assessment of information provided by manufacturers and other sources.
ecospecifier does not just 'tick boxes' using information provided by manufacturers.
It assesses products using known international standards, codes, eco-labels, Life Cycle Assessment methodologies, and Green Building Rating Schemes. ecospecifier also reviews independent test data, third party research and/or expert opinion to test manufacturer declarations and claims, and seeks advice from a group of internationally renowned experts who advise on Products Standards and Methodology.
All product claims are verified unless statements, such as 'according to manufacturer', 'manufacturer claim' or similar are shown. Note - the information will not be included, even with these disclaimers, unless the team in the ecospecifier product research hub have reasonable expectations it is likely to be true.
As noted in What are eco & health preferable products?, ecospecifier admits products to the database based on the premise that:
- They exhibit one or more unique eco or health preferable characteristic compared to other products in their category;
- They are a member of a category that is in itself an eco or health preferred category; and
- They should not contain ‘significant’ ecological or health damaging content.
However, ecospecifier does not as part of its standard services undertake on-site verification processes. ecospecifier relies on and refers to standards and performance data from many sources including government and non-government standards and ecolabels as well as scientific, academic and medical peer reviewed journals and papers.
Where available, Australian standards and ecolabel standards are used, provided they are at or near best practice standards. Improvements over and above these standards thresholds are also recognised.
Where rating schemes exist such as for electrical appliances, windows, skylight, water efficient appliances and fittings, etc., ecospecifier follows accepted practice and recognises the top 25% of market performers (e.g. the Australian Government Energy Allstars appliance rating website sets its ‘preferred performer’ standards so that the top 25% of products are listed).
For more information see Introduction to ecolabels
Historically there have been a variety of listings available as outlined below.
ecospecifier presents 2 basic different types of assessment:
1. Basic Listings (shown with no additional information after the product name): These assessments include up to 150 words. Basic Listings can be assessed using various levels of data quality (see Data Quality in Assessment Criteria) with the minimum level being ‘expert ecospecifier assessment’.
2. Enhanced Content plus GreenRate [ECG]-Premium: These are the highest levels of ecological, health and technical assessments. The premium service responds to the critical need for products to be fully listed and clearly verified. ECG-Premium listings are highly detailed with major product claims verified based on test data or other third party of independently certified sources. ECG-Premium listings also include a Lead Enquiry.
ECG-Premium listings also assess a product's compatibility with green building rating systems, such as the Green Building Council’s Green Star SA and the Cape Town Green Guidelines.
Please note: The Data Assurance Level used in all product assessments is recognised explicitly in the ‘Other Vital Signs’ section of the Assessment Criteria Satisfied section of the product listing.
All Enhanced Content Listings are supported by both manufacturer declarations and verification of major manufacturer claims by sighting of independent test data and internal referencing of other data sources within the listing. Basic listing assessments can range from the equivalent of enhanced content to expert opinion based on research and third party verification of major claims.
For more information see Outcomes, Green Star™ credits & data assurance levels.