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The EcoLibrary™ Matrix: April 2009

June 5, 2009

Certification programs and Life Cycle Assessment (LCA) both provide a valuable approach to evaluating the environmental performance of products. However, a combination of the two provides even deeper insight and credibility. The following matrix identifies various certification programs currently in use by architects and designers and provides an evaluation of eacha, with the inclusion of a life-cycle approach, and with LCA as a part of the certification program.

Certification programs in this Matrixa were selected and reviewed by The Green Standard based on their frequent use with interior building products, the focus of Interiors & Sources and The Green Guide to NeoCon. This list represents varied types of sustainability certifications: Ecolabeling Programs, Single/Multi-Attribute Certifications as well as Sustainable Product Standards.

Certification
Program

Scope of Certification
 
Transparency
signifies meeting the criteria
signifies meeting the criteria

Singular Focus
(recycled content, sustainable forestry, etc.)

Multiple Attribute Focus
(combines more than one focus area)

Life Cycle Focus
(criteria spans a cradle-to-grave concept) 

Publicly Available Assessment Methods and Performance Thresholds

Third-Party Certification

Publicly Available Summary of Results

Multi-Stakeholder Development Process

Public Standards Appeals Process

C2C
McDonough Braungart Design Chemistry

EcoLogo
Managed by TerraChoice

Energy Star
U.S. Environmental Protection Agency

Floor Score
Scientific Certification Systems

FSC Certified
Forest Stewardship Council

GREENGUARD Air Quality Certification
GREENGUARD Environmental Institute

Green Label Plus
Carpet & Rug Institute

Green Seal
Green Seal Organization

Indoor Advantage
Scientific Certification Systems

level™
The BIFMA Sustainability Standard

Smart Sustainable Product Standard
Market Transformation to Sustainability

Sustainable Choice
Scientific Certification Systems

SFI Certified
Sustainable Forestry Initiative

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Certification programs in this Matrixa were selected and reviewed by The Green Standard based on their frequent use with interior building products, the focus of Interiors & Sources and The Green Guide to NeoCon. This list represents varied types of sustainability certifications: Ecolabeling Programs, Single/Multi-Attribute Certifications as well as Sustainable Product Standards.

Life Cycle Certification

Certification
Program

signifies meeting the criteria

Criteria for Raw Material Sourcing & Manufacturing Operations

Criteria for Product Use Phase

Criteria for End-of-Life Management

Comprehensive Criteria Set for Each Life Cycle Stage

Criteria for ISO-Compliant Full Product Life Cycle Assessment (LCA)

Criteria for Reductions in Life Cycle Impacts

Requires the Use of LCA for Certification

Requires Independent Verification of LCA Data

C2C
McDonough Braungart Design Chemistry

EcoLogo
Government of Canada

b
b
b
b

Energy Star
U.S. Environmental Protection Agency

               

Floor Score
Scientific Certification Systems

 

 

           

FSC Certified
Forest Stewardship Council

               

GREENGUARD Air Quality Certification
GREENGUARD Environmental Institute

               

Green Label Plus
Carpet & Rug Institute

               

Green Seal
Green Seal Organization

b
b
b

Indoor Advantage
Scientific Certification Systems

               

level™
The BIFMA Sustainability Standard

Smart Sustainable Product Standard
Market Transformation to Sustainability

c

Sustainable Choice
Scientific Certification Systems

c

SFI Certified
Sustainable Forestry Initiative

               

NOTES: 

  1. Based on information publicly available on the program's Web site.
  2. Since program contains mulitple product categories with different criteria, the authors cannot guarantee that these criteria apply to each category directly. In principle, the program addresses these.
  3. Only requires the use of LCA to reach the highest level of certification: Platinum.

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