Ecospecifier Global GreenTag Certification Program recognised by GBCSA

Ecospecifier Global GreenTag Certification Program recognised by GBCSA

Date: 13.02.2015

The Green Building Council South Africa (GBCSA) recently introduced their Green Star SA – Interiors v1 rating tool, and recognised Global GreenTag at the highest level, and the only scheme to gain recognition in all three levels.  The GBCSA system was developed to evaluate the environmental performance of building fitouts in South Africa and the products that make them up. Like other GBCSA rating tools, the Interiors tool, includes a variety of credits under 9 different categories including the ‘Materials’ category.

This category looks to assess the major products used in interiors fitouts, consisting of four categories: Furniture, Assemblies, Flooring and Wall Coverings. Points in these categories can be achieved in two ways:

Option one requires documentation that proves that the products in these categories have certain characteristics i.e. they are  reused, or that measures have been taken to improve the environmental performance of the product (e.g. recyclability, recycled content, manufacturers operating under ISO 14001) with full points only being awarded, for reused products.

Option2 is a faster and ultimately easier way. It requires the use of products that have been assessed by a 3rd party certification scheme. Credit points are awarded according to the level that GBCSA has recognised the certification scheme or its various rating levels. Under this option the scheme or level of certification achieved by a certified product under any particular recognised scheme is  awarded  Level A, B or C. Level A rating attracts 100% of the points, Level B attracts 85% of the points and Level C is awarded 75% of the available points.

The GBCSA has assessed and categorised 139 product certification scheme s or rating levels , of which only certification via Global GreenTag (21 levels) or Eco Standard (2 levels) result in a rating in the highest category, level A. There are 68 Global GreenTag levels recognised for Level B and 4 others. Similarly there are 23 Global GreenTag levels recognised for Level C and 17 others.

Global GreenTag is a unique, globally relevant certification scheme based in Capetown launched originally in Australia, and recognised in numerous other countries. It comprises two individual schemes, GreenRate and LCARate. GreenRate was developed specifically to respond to green Building Council requirements and LCARate is a unique whole of life, life cycle analysis (LCA) based sustainability rating system for products that delivers real ‘Cradle to Grave’ LCA data into projects looking to perform comparative life cycle impact analysis. Such whole project LCA is becoming widespread in other countries using Green Star, LEED, BREEAM etc.

There are 68 number of GreenRate and LCARate combined ratings recognised under the Interiors tool.

Apart from the GBCA recognised levels, each of the GreenRate and LCARate determinations allows and even greater level of transparency with each Product Assessment Report being included online at along with Product Scorecards and where relevant Environmental Product Declarations (EPDs are summary LCA reports).

 While these processes are not common in Africa currently, measuring the environmental footprint of a project using LCA is getting easier all the time with new tools such as the online LCA ‘e-Tool’. 

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