Green Purchasing Accreditation Program Announced

Feb. 17, 2009

CHAPEL HILL, NC - Professionals engaged in product procurement at architectural and design firms, as well as at the governmental, educational, institutional, or corporate level, now have available to them a new training and certification program to ensure "best practices" in green purchasing. The Green Purchasing Accredited Professional training is a four module on-demand program developed and administered by The Green Standard.

Green building is one bright spot in a lackluster economy, and Green Purchasing accreditation will give building and design professionals—and the firms for which they work—credibility and a competitive edge. The knowledge gained from Green Purchasing AP program will enable organizations to efficiently and effectively navigate today's environmentally-sensitive business landscape, while building value, competitive advantage and social responsibility. The four self-paced, online modules provide actionable ways to green the supply chain and empower purchasers to make the best possible choice of products using scientifically robust and third-party verified information. Successful completion of the training will prepare participants for the exam leading to designation as a Green Purchasing Accredited Professional.

Registration is open for the training, and the first module is slated to be available March 18. Participants can enroll in individual sessions or for the full training. A group discount of 20 percent applies to registrants who enroll five or more people in all four sessions. 

Module 1: Understanding the Framework: Best Practices Globally
To engage in best practices in green purchasing, one must first comprehend the frameworks of green purchasing and have an understanding of best practices and their efficient application. Purchasing professionals need to understand the available product evaluation tools, new state and federal requirements that may affect certain projects, and the use of green purchasing in combination with LEED®, Green Globes and other green building rating systems.
Available March 18, 2009
Time: 1.5 hours
Cost: $125

Module 2: Organizing the Resources: Standards, Certifications and EcoLabels
The first half of this two-part module gives you a conceptual understanding of standards, certifications and EcoLabels. The second part continues with an in-depth overview of the major standards, certifications and labels that are being used and marketed to green purchasing professionals. This module educates and empowers you to use green labels effectively and determine which ones best fit your organization's values, needs and procurement processes.
Available April 1, 2009
Time: 3 hours
Cost: $250

Module 3: Understanding the Basics: Tools That Contribute to Green Purchasing
Several existing tools can facilitate the process, and new ones are introduced each year.  Carbon footprints and chemicals screening are being used widely as a means of selecting green products. Increasingly, Life Cycle Assessment (LCA) is being employed to ascertain and to help communicate the holistic impacts of products. Product LCAs are used as the basis for Environmental Product Declarations (EPDs), considered the core component in the Global Product Information System. In this double module, you will learn what these and other tools actually do or don't do, and how they can be used most effectively.   
Available April 22, 2009
Time: 3 hours
Cost: $250*

Module 4: Creating a Green Purchasing Policy: Useful to and Used by All
The goal of this module is to support the participant in first creating a draft purchasing policy and then leading a discussion with peers on the ways it can be used to enhance the productivity of their organization and their brand in the national and global marketplace. 
Available May 13, 2009
Time: 1.5 hours
Cost: $125*

Each module will include supplementary articles on green purchasing selected by the staff of The Green Standard. Participants will have the opportunity to submit questions to the instructor upon completion of each module. Each module will conclude with an online quiz to assess comprehension before proceeding to the next lesson.    

After completing all four modules participants can decide whether or not to take the online exam, a requirement for achieving designation as a Green Purchasing Accredited Professional (exam fee extra).

The Green Purchasing Accredited Professional training is part of The Green Standard's Bright Green, Bright Future™ campaign, a year-long educational initiative to empower manufacturers and purchasers to confidently navigate the environmental landscape while making lighter footprints. The campaign commenced at Greenbuild 2008 with the launch of The Green Standard's Gaia Product Profile and Environmental Product Declaration System, the first ISO-compliant EPD system in the United States. Knoll and Shaw were announced as early adopters of the program.  

"We are pleased to be bringing together in one training program 10 years of work our organization has spent researching the needs of building designers for tools that are science-based yet user-friendly," notes Deborah Dunning, The Green Standard's president and CEO.

She adds that this work includes a major exhibit for EPA on green building and product selection, development of content for the new Green Guides to NeoCon® and many presentations to groups wanting to incorporate best practices in product eco-design, certification and purchase. 

Ellen Hall, director of communications, adds, "With our Green AP program we are able to further advance our mission of promoting global sustainability through products and practices through supporting purchasers in becoming even more informed and responsible in the ways they select products."

The Green Standard™ is a not-for-profit organization founded in 2000 to advance sustainable production and consumption, using life-cycle based resources. TGS provides education, technology and training for manufacturers and purchasers on product eco-design, certification and purchase. TGS works in open and transparent ways on these resources, using best practices in consensus-based development to ensure stakeholder participation, often collaborating with other organizations to develop tools that are innovative yet practical. More information on the program can be found at To register, contact Ellen Hall, director of communications, at [email protected] or call (919) 824-1195.

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