Kiwano Marketing

How to get a green certification

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Courtesy of Kiwano Marketing

Sometimes having a green product or running a business in a more eco friendly way is not enough to prove your customers you’re truly green. That’s why having a green certification is handy. There are many green certifications out there you can apply to as part of your green marketing efforts.

The Process:

1. Submit an application review form, where you identify your industry, product/service category and provide contact information.

2. The certification provider will then review your application according to the standards applicable to your industry. If no current standards apply to your industry, they will then develop new ones.

3. A representative will then visit your business for an on-site audit. If you’re applying for a product certification, you will also need to provide product samples.

4. If you meet all the requirements, you will receive the green certification, applicable logos and, depending on the certification program, other marketing material.

5. If you fail to meet the requirements, the green certification provider will inform you why. Most companies will be able to re-apply to a green certification once the product or service is fine-tuned.

Timelines:
Based on our research, the green certification process can take anywhere from 30 days to 4 months, depending on whether or not the certification provider already has standards specifically developed for your industry.

Costs:
Getting a green certification is not exactly cheap. While some green certification providers charge a one time, standard fee, others break-down their costs by number of products, annual revenues and product category. Prices range from $1,500 to as high as $10,700 Cdn per product.

There isn’t much information available on the standards green certification providers use to evaluate your business. Eco Logo provides information on how they develop their own standards, but they’re not clear on industry-specific information. On the other hand, Green Seal regularly updates its Environmental Standards, but their categories are currently somewhat limited.

To find the standards applicable to your industry, you will most likely need to apply for a green certification first. But don’t let that bring you down. According to Terra Choice, the company providing the Eco Logo certification, one of the sins of green washing is the sin of no proof (an environmental claim that cannot be substantiated by easily accessible supporting information or by a reliable third-party certification). Green certifications are an excellent way of grounding your green marketing programs and show your customers how seriously you take your impact on the environment.

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