Green Labels & Certifications
Product Labels & Certifications
Whole House and Professional Certifications





ENERGY STAR
ENERGY STAR rated products are found in more than 50 categories. They use less energy, save money, and help protect the environment. ENERGY STAR is a program of the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency and the U.S. Department of Energy. The ENERGY STAR label can be found on products related to the building industry in the following categories: Appliances, Heating and Cooling, Water Heaters, Home Envelopes, Home Electronics and Lighting.

For more info: www.energystar.gov

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GREENGUARD
GREENGUARD Certification Standards for Low-Emitting Products The GREENGUARD Environmental Institute (GEI) has established performance based standards to define goods with low chemical and particle emissions for use indoors, primarily building materials, interior furnishings, furniture, cleaning and maintenance products, electronic equipment, and personal care products. The standard establishes certification procedures including test methods, allowable emissions levels, product sample collection and handling, testing type and frequency, and program application processes and acceptance. Greenguard Certification programs test and certifies a products emissions (Including VOC's and formaldehyde). They certify a range of products from adhesives and flooring to paints and floor finishes. Testing follows ASTM, EPA and State standards.The mission of GREENGUARD Environmental Institute (GEI) is to improve public health and quality of life through programs that improve indoor air quality. In accordance with that mission, GEI currently has three third-party certification programs.

GREENGUARD Indoor Air Quality Certified®
Product certification program for low emitting interior building materials, furnishings, and finish systems. All GREENGUARD Certified Products have been tested for their chemical emissions performance and can be found in the GREENGUARD Online Product Guide.

GREENGUARD for Children & Schools
Product certification program for low emitting interior building materials, furnishings, and finish systems used in educational, office and other sensitive environments. All GREENGUARD Children & SchoolsSM products have been tested for their chemical emissions performance according to CA 1350 and can be found in the GREENGUARD Online Product Guide.

GREENGUARD for Building Construction
Building certification program for newly constructed multifamily and commercial properties that follow best practice guidelines for preventing mold during the design, construction and ongoing operations.

For more info: www.greenguard.org

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Green Seal
Green Seal is a third party non-profit organization devoted to environmental standard setting, product certification, and public education. Green Seal's mission is to work towards environmental sustainability by identifying and promoting environmentally responsible products, purchasing, and production through its standard setting, certification and education programs. Green Seal Certification ensures that a product meets rigorous, science-based environmental leadership standards. This gives manufacturers the assurance to back up their claims and purchasers confidence that certified products are better for human health and the environment. Green Seal offers certification to all products covered by its Standards. Manufacturers may submit their products for evaluation by Green Seal. Those which comply with Green Seal's requirements may be authorized to use the Green Seal Certification Mark on products and in product advertising. Manufacturers authorized to use the Green Seal Certification Mark on their product are subject to an ongoing program of testing, inspection and enforcement.

For more info: www.greenseal.org

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EPA WaterSense
WaterSense which is a partnership program sponsored by the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency (EPA), is making it easy to find and select water-efficient products with a label backed by independent testing and certification. WaterSense will also recognize professional service programs that incorporate water efficiency.

Generally speaking, WaterSense labeled products will be about 20 percent more water efficient than their less efficient counterparts in the same category. In addition, WaterSense labeled prod ucts perform their intended function as well as or better than their less efficient counterparts.

For more info: www.epa.gov/WaterSense

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Scientific Certification Systems (CSC)
A third -party certifier, SCS certifies a wide range of products for such attributes as recycled content and biodegradradability. Their environmental claims certification program is a truth -in-labeling seal. SCS certifies Environmentally Perferrable Products for their impact on the environment. SCS also provides audits of forests under FSC guidelines and certifies claims in other categories such as biodegradable, indoor air quality, poison free materials,and recycled, postconsumer material content.

For more info: www.scscertified.com

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Master Painters Institute (MPI)
MPI (Master Painters Institute) vision; a paint & coatings industry that develops and uses paints and coatings with balanced performance, safely and appropriately.To do this, the Institute developed the MPI Green Performance Standard and a "green" Approved Products List that takes into consideration not only toxins and VOC (Volatile Organic Compounds) and their emissions, but performance (i.e durability) as well.

For more info: www.paintinfo.com

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The Carpet and Rug Institute (CRI)
CRI's Green Label and Green Label Plus programs, which test for and certify low emissions from carpet, carpet cushion and adhesive, comply with the International Organization for Standardization (ISO) and the International Electrotechnical Commission (IEC) Guide 65, General requirements for bodies operating product certification programs. ANSI certification is a further assurance that the products tested and certified by CRI are green building products that meet high standards for indoor air quality. The CRI ANSI certification process started in 2006 and involved audits of the green carpet programs by Georgia Tech Enterprise Innovation Institute, an ANSI team and CRI's third party indoor laboratory, Air Quality Science of Atlanta.

For more info: www.carpet-rug.org

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Sustainable Forest Initiative (SFI)
The SFI forest certification standard is based on principles that promote sustainable forest management, including measures to protect water quality, biodiversity, wildlife habitat, species at risk, and forests with exceptional conservation value.

The Sustainable Forestry Initiative® (SFI®) label is a sign you are buying wood and paper products from well-managed forests, backed by a rigorous, third-party certification audit. The SFI program at large is made up of the following components.

The SFI program at large is made up of the following components.

SFI forest certification promotes responsible forestry practices. To be certified, forest operations across the United States and Canada must be audited against the SFI forest standard.

SFI chain-of-custody certification extends into the marketplace by tracking fiber content from certified lands through production and manufacturing to the end product. Consumers who buy products with the SFI "percent-content" label know they are buying assurance of well-managed forests.

SFI fiber sourcing requirements address the reality of global fiber markets and the fact that only 10 percent of the world's forests are certified. Program participants must ensure the raw material in their supply chain comes from legal and responsible sources, whether the forests are certified or not.

SFI labels are recognized globally and provide a visual cue to help customers source certified forest products.

SFI program requirements are audited by independent, third-party certification bodies to ensure they conform.

For more info: www.sfiprogram.org

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NAHB Research Center
Products for which the manufacturer has received a Certificate from the NAHB Research Center and the right to use the NAHB Research Center Green Approved mark are products that the Research Center has approved as being eligible to contribute points toward certification of a building under the National Green Building Standard™. Such products, when appropriately used, enable builders to earn points toward certification of the building. The NAHB Research Center Green Approved mark is intended to assist builders, designers, and specifiers in identifying products that can contribute points toward building certification.

The National Green Building Standard does not define criteria for certifying products as "green." A product bearing the NAHB Research Center Green Approved mark is not certified as being "green." Rather, the product has been approved as eligible for earning points under the National Green Building Standard toward green certification of a building if the product is used in a qualifying way (for example, in sufficient quantity or under certain conditions as noted in the Certificate). Many criteria in the National Green Building Standard™ require the use of products with certain attributes. The Research Center has verified that products bearing the NAHB Research Center Green Approved mark do indeed have such attributes (for example, a product might meet the criterion of having recycled content exceeding 25%). Where appropriate, an independent assessment or accredited test report is required for recognition of product attributes eligible for points. Products entitled to use the NAHB Research Center Green Approved mark are approved for points only for specific practices, as indicated on the Certificate provided to the manufacturer. A copy of the Certificate should be available from the manufacturer.

To learn more go to: www.nahbgreen.org

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ENERGY STAR Qualified Homes
ENERGY STAR qualified homes are independently verified to meet strict guidelines for energy efficiency set by the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency. These homes save money on utility bills, provide a more comfortable living environment with better indoor air quality, and help protect the environment. ENERGY STAR homes are verified to be at least 30% more energy efficient than homes built to the 1993 national Model Energy Code or 15% more efficient than those built to state energy codes, whichever is more rigorous.

Typical features to look for in ENERGY STAR qualified homes include:

  • An Efficient Home Envelope, with effective levels of wall, floor and attic insulation properly installed, comprehensive air barrier details, and high-performance windows
  • Efficient Air Distribution, where ducts are installed with minimum air leakage and are effectively insulated
  • Efficient Equipment for heating, cooling, and water heating
  • Efficient Lighting, including fixtures that earn the ENERGY STAR
  • Efficient Appliances, including ENERGY STAR qualified dishwashers, refrigerators, and clothes washers.

For more info: www.energystar.gov

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Leadership in Energy and Environmental Design (LEED)
LEED is a third-party certification program and the nationally accepted benchmark for the design, construction and operation of high performance green buildings and homes. LEED gives builders, building owners and operators the tools they need to have an immediate and measurable impact on their buildings and homes' performance. LEED promotes a whole-building approach to sustainability by recognizing performance in five key areas of human and environmental health: sustainable site development, water savings, energy efficiency, materials selection and indoor environmental quality.

There are four tiers of LEED certification. Basic LEED; LEED Silver; LEED Gold; and LEED Platinum. To qualify for each level you must acquire the appropriate LEED points thru the USGBC rating system. Different points are given for each element of the building process that promotes sustainability.

For more info: www.usgbc.org

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National Green Building Standard (NAHB)
The ANSI approved ICC-700-2008 National Green Building Standard (NGBS) establishes a much-needed and nationally-recognizable standard definition of green building. The Standard includes single and multifamily homes, residential remodeling projects and site development projects while allowing for the flexibility required for regionally-appropriate best green practices. The Standard also introduces a new, fourth score - Emerald - to denote the pinnacle of achievement in residential green construction.

For more info: www.nahbgreen.org

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Certified Green Professional (NAHB)
The Certified Green Professional designation is another way building professionals can become educated in, and involved with green building. The designation requires 24 hours of NAHB-approved training, and additional continuing education every two years. Subjects covered in training discuss how green homes provide buyers with lower energy costs and higher value, and will include strategies for incorporating green-building principles into homes without driving up the cost of construction.

For more info: www.nahbgreen.org

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