Ever thought about getting certified for your environmental efforts. If so you might have done some research and discovered that there are loads of various types of green awards and certifications on the market.
Being able to achieve a green award or green certification is useful as you can use it to confidently promote your green credentials to your clients, prospective customers and staff.
But which should you try go for?
In this article I have summarised some of the mainstream green awards and environmental certifications from different countries.
The ‘daddy’ of environmental certification is the International Organisational Standard called ISO14001.
The standard sets out how an organisation can improve its environmental performance and comply with environmental legislation and regulations through an environmental management system (EMS).
The purpose of the EMS is to ensure that an organisation continues to demonstrate continuous improvement in terms of its environmental performance.
The standards is implemented through third party verifiers and is externally evaluated on an annual basis.
Implementation usually requires the support of a EMS consultant and can therefore be quite a costly approach to improving your performance.
You can find out whether ISO14001 is right for you in this article.
BS8555 is a British Standard that has been specifically designed to help small to medium sized business achieve ISO14001 certification through a 6 phased process.
The six Phases of the standard are:
Commitment and Establishing the Baseline, Identifying and Ensuring Legal Compliance, Developing Objectives, Targets and Programmes, Implementation and Operation of the Environmental Management System, Checking, Audit and Review, and Environmental Management System Acknowledgement.
The Carbon Trust standard certifies organisations for real carbon reduction and commitment to ongoing reductions.
To achieve the Carbon Trust Standard you need to meet three criteria:
Green Seal offers certification for the products, services, and companies that meet Green Seal standards.
The Green Seal mark represents compliance with a rigorous set of criteria designed to achieve leadership levels in sustainability.
BREEAM sets the standard for best practice in sustainable building design, construction and operation and has become one of the most comprehensive and widely recognised measures of a building’s environmental performance.
BREEAM addresses wide-ranging environmental and sustainability issues and enables developers, designers and building managers to demonstrate the environmental credentials of their buildings to clients, planners and other initial parties.
LEED, or Leadership in Energy and Environmental Design, is an internationally-recognized green building certification system.
Developed by the U.S. Green Building Council (USGBC), LEED provides building owners and operators with a framework for identifying and implementing practical and measurable green building design, construction, operations and maintenance solutions.
LEED is very similar to BREEAM.
I hope the list of green awards and green certifications above give you a better sense of what you could do to demonstrate your green credentials. Depending on the level of environmental commitment that you are looking to achieve, I would recommend that you first do your research on criteria requirements and costs.
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