Sustainability is the ability to meet the demands of delivering products and services now, without compromising the future of our natural resources and the demands of future generations.
The term sustainability relates to the integration of economic, social and environmental concerns. It requires a collective effort of individuals, organisations and governments to protect and grow our natural resources; rather than deplete or permanently damage them.
Global-Mark offers sustainability programs which provide third party verification, so that consumers and regulators can have assurance that claims made are verified.
The need to reduce greenhouse gas emissions is now well understood and recognised by all levels of society. Today more and more organisations are aiming to minimize their carbon “foot print” and develop sustainability practices and indicators as part of their planning and reporting systems. Our certification program undertakes to:
• Review and confirm the validity of GHG emission calculations
• Review and confirm the carbon management strategies implemented by the organization (based on the hierarchy of control), including:
• Assessment and,
• Offsetting (only from recognised and accredited source, refer to State or Commonwealth programs)
This approach reviews both sides of the equation, and importantly provides independent verification so that consumers, regulators and directors can have assurance that claims made are verified and verifiable.
The scope, limits, and conditions of the carbon claim will be specific on the Certification Schedule.
The program is based on key international standards:
• ISO 14065 Greenhouse gases – Requirements for greenhouse gas validation and verification bodies for use in accreditation or other forms of recognition
• ISO 14064 standards for greenhouse gas accounting and verification
The program includes a break down and assessment of GHGs including the six gases covered by the Kyoto Protocol, which are measured in carbon dioxide equivalents (CO2-e):
• Carbon dioxide (CO2),
• Methane (CH4),
• Nitrous oxide (N2O),
• Hydrofluorocarbons (HFCs),
•Perfluorocarbons (PFCs), and
• Sulphur hexafluoride (SF6).
Commitment of reducing GHG emissions and sustainability are increasingly important in today’s trading conditions. This program offers a truly independent certification of the claims.
The Certification Mark can be used in promotional material, sustainability report or annual reports to provide further support that the “carbon claim is assured”.
• Claim calculations and assumptions must be done in accordance with acceptable international best practice in the absence of the formal standards.
• Acceptable Offset: only from recognised and/or accredited source, refer to State, Commonwealth or other National programs.
Global-Mark offer 2 Carbon programs:
• Carbon Verified: This is an independent review and audit of a specific carbon claim. It can be applied to a product, factory, project or system.
• Carbon Neutral: This is an independent review and audit of a specific carbon neutrality claim. It can be applied to a product, factory, project or system, and relies on the accredited offsets.
Chain of Custody
Chain of Custody Certification Program is a system that provides traceability and assurances on the origin of wood.
Chain of Custody aims to provide any organisation in the wood or forest products supply chain with a transparent set of requirements to implement and demonstrate compliance with system for the tracking of wood or forest products: the origin of which must be from sustainable managed forests (from certified forests to end consumer via the supply chain including ownership, distribution, processing, transportation, manufacturing).
This program is relevant to companies involved in harvesting, transportation, primary and secondary processing, manufacturing, re-manufacturing, distribution and sales of wood or forest products. It applies whether seeking certification to AS4707, PEFC ST 2002 or both.
1.1 Goal of labels and declarations (based on ISO 14020: 2000 Environmental labels and declarations – General principles)
‘Through communication of verifiable and accurate information, that is not misleading, on environmental aspects of products and services, to encourage the demand for and supply of those products and services that cause less stress on the environment, thereby stimulating the potential for market-driven continuous environmental improvement’.
1.2 Types of Eco-Labels
Under the ISO identification system, there are a number of Eco-Labelling certification processes:
Type I (ISO 14024):
Voluntary, Life Cycle Assessment (LCA) based, that award a label that indicates the overall environmental preferability of a product or service based on life-cycle considerations
Type II (ISO 14021)
Informative self-declared claims of environmental merit
Type III (ISO 14025)
Voluntary program that provides quantified environmental data of a product set by a qualified third party, based on LCA and verified by a third party.
Global-Mark offers Type I Certification.
1.3 Life cycle assessment (LCA) to ISO 14041
The Green-Global-Mark is a certification program based on ISO 14024. This is a multi-criteria basis for assessing and comparing the environmental impacts of given products. Fundamentally this comparison can only be achieved by defining the “generic impacts”, and comparing a product against the generic baseline. On this basis many products will be below the baseline and not eligible for certification.
An essential part of the certification program is the publication (not by Global-Mark) of a credible and comprehensive LCA for the product category under consideration The purpose of this LCA is to identify the key parameters that distinguish environmentally preferable products from other products in the category. The LCA provides the benchmark performance criteria and requirements which demonstrate environmentally preferable performance. These Product Criteria Reports will need to be refined from time to time to ensure that the standards continue to reward environmentally preferable products and services.
Scientifically based LCA’s are the only way to provide a reliable basis for assessing and promoting environment preferability. Consumer protection organisation and Trade Practices Acts may seek to challenge “green” claims and our certification program is based on a scientific, transparent process and provides a solid platform to demonstrate environmental claims.
The following chart presents the overview of the process, and the roles of the various parties involved.
1.4 Eco-Label rating: Silver, Gold, Platinum
The eco-label rating of products and services is based on the following:
From the Environmental Standard for the product category, a range of environmental impact scores for the available variants of the product or service will be determined. To be eligible for Global-Mark’s Eco Labelling program the product or service must at a minimum meet the requirements for environmental preferability.
The Green-Global-Mark Certification criteria are as follows:
- Silver: product achieve greater than 50 to 75% score
- Gold: product achieving greater than 75 to 90% score
- Platinum: product achieving greater than 90% score
Product may change category, based on process, design or resources improvements.
1.5 Environmental Product Declarations (EPD’s)
The process for EPD’s is essentially the same, except that the outcomes do not include an ecolabel, but a Global-Mark endorsed EPD, which can be used by architects, consultants or as an input into design tools / software.
The EPD process does not include weighting.
The EPD will be presented and expressed using the NSDO environmental impact categories and units, reporting on the inventory of key parameters causing the most impact and for a functional unit, which is also defined and documented in the EPD.
FSC Chain of Custody
FSC Chain of Custody is an information trail about the path taken by products from the forest or, in the case of recycled materials, from the reclamation site to the consumer including each stage of processing, transformation, manufacturing, and distribution where progress to the next stage of the supply chain involves a change of ownership.
Any change of ownership in the supply chain requires the establishment of effective Chain of Custody management systems at the level of the respective organization and their verification by independent certification bodies, if the organisation wants to make an FSC claim about their products. Developing and implementing Chain of Custody management systems is a way for organizations to effectively control their processing system and show their customers the origin of the material in their products.
FSC certification of such management systems is designed to provide a credible guarantee to customers, whether business, government or end consumer, that products which are sold (i.e. invoiced and possibly labelled) with a specified FSC certificate code are originating from well managed forests, controlled sources, reclaimed materials, or a mixture of these. FSC Chain of Custody certification thereby facilitates the transparent flow of goods made from such materials through the supply chain.
An FSC Chain of Custody certificate provides information on the evaluated sites, processes and product groups from which such products may originate, and references the Chain of Custody standard(s) used in the evaluation by an FSC-accredited Global-Mark. Compliance with this standard provides a consistent, international basis for independent, third party verification of claims about the sourcing of wood/fibre material and products. It enables suppliers to demonstrate compliance with public or private procurement policies and specifications. A key objective of this standard is to provide a pathway for organisations to both enter the FSC system and/or increase the proportion of FSC-certified input material to 100%.
In recent years, the management of forests has become increasingly important, with public concerns now being acknowledged by regulators and large commodity traders, mills, retailers and users.
The Australian Forestry Standard and New Zealand Forestry Standard were specifically developed to offer a framework for managing forests and all their related community aspects in an accountable and transparent manner.
Certification will assist you to prove and demonstrate that you have sound systems, and you are keeping them up-to-date, and in continued compliance.