Post 7 – Identifying Sustainable Products – Interior Design Buying Guides


Sustainability


As a society we are becoming more aware of  the  pressures human beings are placing on  our planet and its fragile ecology.  We have acknowledged our natural resources are precious and limited and have embraced recycling.  Industry is now looking at how we create and manage waste, aiming to minimise waste and eliminate toxicity  to produce a bi-product that actually benefits the environment.   The Cradle to Cradle movement  lead by Braungardt and McDonna, works with industry globally to decrease their impact on the environment.


Spreading the Message


While large industry employs the services of consultants to embrace sustainability, governments, scientists and environmentalist  move toward spreading the message to the general population using systems such as Eco-Labeling.

Eco Labeling effectively researches  the  complex ecological impact information required to identify truly sustainable products – and converts it into a  simple rating system or certification,  thus making the selection of sustainable products for interior designers a quick simple process.

http://www.ecolabelindex.com/ecolabels/?search=Australia&as_values_070=



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Australian Initiatives to Support Sustainability


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The Green Building Council of Australia – Allocates a green star rating from 1 – 6 based on the use of sustainable materials, energy efficiency and design including interior design for buildings in Australia.

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Good Environmental Choice Australia- (GECA)  Australia’s only independent, not-for-profit, multi-sector ecolabelling program a member of Global Ecolabelling Network (GEN).  Standards follow ISO 14024 principles for global best practice in ecolabelling.

GECA’s scheme enables consumers to choose from thousands of certified products and services and have confidence that they have a lower impact on the environment and human health and address important social considerations.

http://www.geca.org.au/

Shopping? To search for products that meet their criteria go to ….

http://www.geca.org.au/products/search/


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Global Green Tag® – is a third party, green product rating and certification system, underpinned by scientific and Life Cycle Assessment (LCA) processes. The program assesses products  in the same functional category  based on the following:

  • product synergy;
  • greenhouse emission  (ISO 14067);
  • human health & eco-toxicity (REACH and US EPA);
  • life cycle assessment (ISO 14040-44),
  • biodiversity and resource consumption
  • corporate social responsibility (Ethics, ILO, ISO 8000 & Devel Programs)

Allocates EcoPOINT Score (-1 to + 1) to products, including sustainability that include ‘Net Positive’ impacts such as carbon sequestration, net positive biodiversity or health impacts of products.

http://www.gbca.org.au/green-star/green-star-interiors/

http://www.iso.org/iso/iso_14000_essentials


 

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Australian Forestry Standard – Enables users and consumers of timber and wood-based products to be assured that the origin of timber or wood-based products are derived from sources that have been independently, third-party certified from sustainability managed forests.

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The Australian BMP Cotton Trademark – BMP Cotton trademark is a consumer guarantee that the branded textile product they are buying is made of Australian cotton grown under Best Management Practices by growers who care for our environment.

http://www.fsc.org/


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Energy Rating Australia – Provides energy rating information on the energy efficiency of major electrical appliances.

http://www.energyrating.gov.au/ 


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Water Wise Rating rates water saving capability of products.


 


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