In today’s highly competitive environment, manufacturers and distributors seek points of differentiations by offering customers something that is unique to their organization. Although there are many organizations that backup their claims with reliable information, often times it is a mere marketing fad. Companies are using environmental aspects of products, production processes, and sourcing strategies to differentiate themselves. As customers are getting more interested and educated on environmental aspects of corporations, it is prudent for enterprises to make claims that are backed-up by actual facts rather than fiction as Greenwashing can have brand-damaging effects.
Greenwashing, also called “greensheen”, is a form of spin in which green PR or green marketing is deceptively used to promote the perception that an organization’s products, aims or policies are environmentally friendly.
Backing-Up Green Claims
RAMS Industries has partnered with vendors that offer green products and thereby assisting manufacturers in their effort to meet environmental customer requirements. The organization is actively providing information to customers backing up its green claims. The organization offers recognized certification processes that independent laboratories are conducting while supporting leading environmental programs
The GREENGUARD Gold Certification standard includes health-based criteria for chemicals and requires very low total Volatile Organic Compound (VOC) emissions levels to ensure that products are acceptable for use in environments such as schools and healthcare facilities.
A summary of the allowable emission limits for GREENGUARD Certification and GREENGUARD Gold Certification can be found here.
In addition to limiting emissions of more than 360 VOCs and total chemical emissions, GREENGUARD Gold Certified products must also comply with requirements of the State of California’s Department of Public Health (CDPH) “Standard Method for the Testing and Evaluation of Volatile Organic Chemical Emissions from Indoor Sources Using Environmental Chambers, Version 1.2 (2017)” (also known as California Section 01350).
Office Furniture products that are GREENGUARD Gold Certified are also compliant withthe BIFMA X7.1 standard and BIFMA e3 credits 7.6.1, 7.6.2, and 7.6.3.
Tested by Independent Laboratories
UL Environment uses advanced dynamic environmental chamber testing, as well as exposure modeling and analytical measurements. Both test products and building materials for total volatile organic compounds (TVOC), individual VOCs, formaldehyde, ozone, and phthalates. There are defined allowable levels for key pollutants with known or suspected irritant or more serious health impacts.
The majority of chemical analyses are conducted with high-performance chromatography (HPLC) and gas chromatography/mass spectrometry (GC/MS). Some pollutants are measured with real time monitoring instruments. Certified products must undergo periodic re-testing and verification to remain certified.
Supported by Leading Environmental Programs
The GREENGUARD Gold Certification requirements comply with the State of California’s Department of Public Health Services Standard Practice for Specification Section 01350 (California Section 01350) for testing chemical emissions from building products used in schools and other environments.
As such, GREENGUARD Gold Certified products can be used to earn valuable credits in the CHPS Best Practices Manual for K-12 schools, the US Green Building Council’s LEED® Green Building Rating Systems, the Green Guide for Healthcare, the NAHB Green Building Guidelines, Green Globes, Regreen and many other building codes, standards and specifications.
The Impact of Designers and Architects on Specifying Green Products
People spend 90 percent of their time indoors, where air pollution levels are 2 to 5 times higher than those found outdoors. The largest source of this pollution is volatile organic compound (VOC) emissions from building materials and furnishings.
Architects and designers can have a significant impact on occupant health by taking steps during design and construction to ensure healthy indoor air in the spaces they create.
Specifying GREENGUARD Certified products is among the most effective and easiest ways for architects, designers and specifiers to ensure they create healthier educational, healthcare, office and home environments.