3rd Party Green Product Certification Schemes

There are literally hundreds of ecolabels globally, but many have been developed in accordance with key international standards.

These key International Standards Organisation (ISO) standards such as ISO 14024 (Type 1 Third Party Ecolabels) and ISO 17065 or ISO Guide 65 (Conformance Assessment Bodies) are common to the high level, quality  ecolabels. ISEAL is a parallel system that some of the other major ecolabels such as FSC and FairTrade work with. Both of these systems have key concepts in common that ensure they are independent, unbiased, stable and operate with broad based stakeholder engagement and in an open and transparent manner.

Before using a label ask to see their third party verification to these important standards.

Traditional Ecolabels e.g. EU Eco-Flower, Nordic Swan, Good Environmental Choice or Green Label, set up their own standards in accordance with the process enshrined in the ISO and ISEAL standards to ensure these independence and transparency outcomes.

The individual organisations' standards are determined based on the intent of the organisation, but typically to cover important life cycle issues via a series of indicators and assessed on a pass/fail basis. They do not unless explicitly stated, use life cycle analysis (LCA) in the assessment of the products.

Labels such as Global GreenTag and Cradle to Cradle do not undertake a pass/fail assessment but actually rate the performance of the product comparatively over a series of levels e.g. Bronze, Silver, Gold or Platinum.

Global Global GreenTag and Cradle to Cradle (C2C) use different whole of life approaches:

  • C2C considers the health and environmental impact or how a product is able to be recycled through 'technical' and 'organic' cycles and then applies a rating.
  • Global GreenTag is unique in that it is a 'whole of sustainability' assessment process. It uses health, environmental and social indicators together with whole of life, LCA to asses the product and create an EcoPOINT score and a series of individual metrics for each of the 6 Sustainability Assessment Criteria that make up the score.

The EcoPOINT is a number between -1 to +1 (to 2 decimal places) where a score of +1 = Business as Usual 'worst case', 0 = Neutral, and -1 = is net positive (ie a product is taking away existing negative impacts and levaing things better than when they started). The resulting ecoPOINT is then used to provide the rating. Because it is LCA based, GreenTag is also compliant with a variety of other ISO Standards (ISO 14040, 14044 and 14067) and produces ISO 14025 and ISO 21930 (on request) compliant Environmental Product Declarations (EPDs).

Use the side navigation or the links below to view each of the following selection of third party certifiers in more detail.