Demystifying our Green Labels to help in your search for eco-friendly carpet.
“Designers and Architects can impact up to 90% of a project’s eventual impact, based on the earliest design decisions”**.
It is exciting and empowering to appreciate the positive effect Architects and Interior Designers have on the health of people, place and planet. With that comes responsibility to choose products that do no harm, or better yet, reduce carbon emissions.
The Green Building Council of New Zealand (NZGBC) tells us, “Buildings and their construction account for as much as 20% of New Zealand’s emissions”.
NZGBC is on a mission to dramatically transform the way our buildings are designed and constructed by reducing our carbon footprint and improving the health and wellbeing of our people[UD1] [SC2] .
To that end, NZGBC award the internationally recognised Green Star certification to buildings that meet their standards.
These certifications are the benchmarks for Green Building in New Zealand, and follow the standards set by Green Building Council Australia (GBCA); Green Star NZ approved ecolabels are closely aligned to those approved by GBCA.
To fully understand what’s required to gain points towards a Green rated build in New Zealand, the NZGBC web site is the best resource.
In brief there are 3 pillars – they are key things to look for in products you’re considering for your project:
1. Low emissions from Volatile Organic Compounds (VOC)
2. Sustainability and Transparency (look for eco labels and Environmental Product Declarations-EPD)
3. PVC reduction
Here’s a handy webinar:
This chart outlines what qualifies products for Green Star accreditation:
More information on the NZGBC web site
Because our carpets are imported, they carry labels from their region of origin:
Modulyss® – Belgium / Europe
Bentley Mills – USA
So, what do our labels mean, and which of them will accrue NZGBC points?
THE BELOW STANDARDS COUNT TOWARDS GREEN STAR CERTIFICATIONS IN NEW ZEALAND
Our carpets carry one or more of these certifications, and you’ll find links to them on our website.
Good Environmental Choice Australia GECA rating – eg: modulyss®
GECA ratings assess environmental impact by evaluating:
-materials the carpet is made from
-methods of manufacture
– the product’s entire lifecycle – from the sourcing of raw materials, to manufacture, installation, use and maintenance and finally its ultimate disposal.
GECA’s Carpet standard certification guarantees carpet has been assessed to meet environmental, human health and ethical impact criteria.
Download the Carpets Info Sheet from the list here
Read more about GECA on their web site
Environmental Product Declaration (EPD) eg: moduyss, Bentley
A product EPD transparently communicates the environmental performance or impact of any product or material over its lifetime and is an alternate path to points.
EPDs support carbon emission reduction by making it possible to compare the impacts of different materials and products in order to select the most sustainable option.
An EPD is a standardized and a verified document. The environmental data is created using a holistic life-cycle assessment (LCA), and gets verified by a third-party expert. Construction product EPDs follow EN 15804 or ISO 21930 standards. Every EPD provides the product’s carbon footprint – called the Global Warming Potential (GWP).
In addition to carbon, the EPD contains environmental impacts to air, soil and water bodies.
Contact Heritage for the EPD on each of our products.
Declare Label: eg Bentley
A Declare Label shows product transparency across 3 key areas :
1. Where does a product come from?
2. What is it made of?
3. Where does it go at the end of its life?
Declare is a transparency platform and product database that is changing the materials marketplace. Products carry a declare label, and Declare has a database you can reference to make specification much easier.
Declare takes complex chemical analysis and raw material source location information and provides it to consumers in an easy-to-use label.
The Declare Database is free for everyone.
A Declare Label in and of itself doesn’t qualify for Green Star points in New Zealand, but it is an alternate pathway to points where the declaration meets NZGBC standards.
More information on the Declare web site
THESE STANDARDS ARE ONES TO LOOK OUT FOR TO GIVE YOU CONFIDENCE IN THE ECO CREDENTIALS OF PRODUCT, BUT DO NOT CURRENTLY DIRECTLY CONTRIBUTE TO GREEN STAR RATINGS IN NEW ZEALAND
Cradle to Cradle: eg Bentley & modulyss®
Cradle to Cradle Certified® is a globally recognized measure of safer, more sustainable products made for the circular economy.
4 levels of achievement: Bronze, Silver, Gold, Platinum, awarded per category.
Cradle to Cradle Certified® Assessment Categories: Material Health, Material Reutilization, Renewable Energy and Carbon Management, Water Stewardship, and Social Fairness.
To receive certification, products are assessed for environmental and social performance across the five critical sustainability categories; a product’s lowest category achievement also represents its overall certification level.
Learn more on the C2C web site
LEED eg: modulyss® & Bentley
LEED is the American Green Building rating system created by US Green Building Council.
LEED (Leadership in Energy and Environmental Design) is a widely used green building rating system providing a framework for healthy, highly efficient, and cost-saving green buildings, assessing environmental impact.
The most relevant to carpets are assessments for Interior Design and Construction (LEED ID+C)
Read more on the US Green Building Council web site
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**According to Lance Hosey, FAIA, LEED Fellow and design resilience director for Gensler, studies show this.