Kiwano Marketing

Green Certification Providers – Who should you choose?

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Courtesy of Kiwano Marketing

Our previous article on How to Get a Green Certification generated several inquiries. Almost everyone had the same question: with so many green certifications available out there, how can we discern who’s serious?

A good rule of thumb is how long the process takes. A solid certification is bound to take at least one month, from the moment you submit your application to having the green certification provider reviewing your business and auditing your products/services and operations. Some websites provide you a green certification on the spot, based on a questionnaire you fill online and the number of points you collect from your answers. While this has its advantages (it’s a quick process, usually free), this type of certifications might back fire and reduce your credibility. The goal of applying for a green certification is having a third-party verifying your claims on being environmentally sustainable. If you decide to go for a fast, free and self-service certification, you’re not really having an impartial organization assessing your business – therefore, you’re not fulfilling the goal.

Based on the industry you serve, there are several green certifications you can apply for:

Eco Logo
The Eco Logo certification is provided by Terra Choice, a Canadian company based in Ottawa. Their prices range from $1,500 to $5,000 Cdn. The process takes between 1 to 3 months to complete.

Industries served: automotive; building & construction; cleaning & janitorial; consumer products; containers, packaging, bags & sacks; electricity; events; fuels, lubricants & related products; marine; office furniture, equipment & business products; printing; pulp & paper products; services; other (you can send an application to add a standard for your industry).

Green Seal
Green Seal is based in Washington, DC and is one of the leading green certifications in North America. You can access their green products & services directory to have a better idea on who has received the Green Seal certification. Their prices range from $2,100 to $9,500 Usd per product. The process takes an average of 3 months.

Industries served: construction materials, equipment & systems; facility operations, maintenance & services; home products & services; office products & communications; personal care & consumer packaged goods; transportation & utilities; other (you can send an application to add a standard for your industry).

Green Business Certified
Green Business Certified is provided by the Institute for Green Business Certification, based in Michigan City, Indiana. Pricing varies based on number of employees, starting at $190. No information on timelines is provided.

While they don’t provide a list of industries served, Green Business Certified lists the categories they take into account when auditing a business: waste reduction; recycling; reduction in office material usage; purchasing; energy saving; water conservation; pollution prevention; reduction in chemical usage; proper handling of pollutants; and reduced emissions.

Some industries are served by specific green certification providers. For instance, the paper/wood industry is served by the Forest Stewardship Council (FSC), Sustainable Forestry Initiative (SFI), Programme for the Endorsement of Forest Certification (PEFC) and many others. The construction and energy industries are other examples of industries where specific green certifications are available.

For more information on industry-related certifications, you can check Business.org.

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