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.
Australian Initiatives to Support Sustainability
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.
Shopping? To search for products that meet their criteria go to ….
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.
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.
Energy Rating Australia – Provides energy rating information on the energy efficiency of major electrical appliances.
Water Wise Rating rates water saving capability of products.