A Rose

November 18, 2010

Companies pay big bucks nowadays to acquire an ecolabel, a third party certification that lets their clients and potential clients know that they are on the green bandwagon.  Whether it’s getting a project LEED certified or making sure your refrigerator is Energy Star compliant, everyone is getting in on the action.

When selecting green building materials, it’s no different.  But what do all of those certifications mean.  Here is a list of some of the most common certifiers and a brief description of their mission taken from their websites.

Green Seal

Founded in 1989, this pioneers vision was to make a green economy with as little impact as possible by using science-based programs to empower consumers.   They rely on standards from organizations such as ANSI and ISO to ensure their credibility.


FSC certification provides a credible link between responsible production and consumption of forest products, enabling consumers and businesses to make purchasing decisions that benefit people and the environment as well as providing ongoing business value.

Rain Forest Alliance

The Rainforest Alliance works to conserve biodiversity and ensure sustainable livelihoods by transforming land-use practices, business practices and consumer behavior.

Cradle to Cradle

Cradle to Cradle® Certification takes a holistic approach to it’s certification, rating materials and manufacturing practices in 5 defined categories.  The categories focus on whether the product is safe for humans and the environment as well as its ability to be reused.  


The GREENGUARD Environmental Institute (GEI) was founded in 2001 with the mission of protecting human health and quality of life through programs that reduce chemical exposure and improve indoor air quality. In keeping with that mission, GEI oversees third-party certification programs that identify acceptable product emission standards and certify low-emitting products.