Faqs

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Ecolabelling

  • What is ISO 14024?
    • The global principles and procedures for ecolabelling are set out by the International Organisation for Standardisation (ISO) in its standard ISO 14024, which identifies three types of ecolabels:

      • Type I: a multi-attribute ecolabel developed by a third party
      • Type II: a single-attribute ecolabel developed by the producer themselves
      • Type III: an ecolabel based on a full life-cycle assessment
        Of these, the Type 1 ecolabel is recognised as the most robust and credible.

      GECA pioneered ecolabelling in Australia in line with ISO 14024, and is the only not-for-profit, independent Type 1 ecolabel in Australia.

      See also ‘What is Ecolabelling and Why is it important?’ in our About pages.

  • What are the key qualities to look for in an ecolabel?
    • Key qualities to look for in an ecolabel are:

      • independence
      • transparency and consistency in its standards
      • third party accreditation and verification processes (where the verification and licencing agencies are also independent of one another)

      Robustness, credibility and impartiality are what build the reputations of good ecolabels so that suppliers and consumers can come to trust them.

  • Do ecolabels help drive sustainable production and consumption?
    • Yes they do.

      By gaining consumer confidence and trust, ecolabels help increase sales of products that perform better socially and environmentally. In this way, they can help drive demand and supply of more sustainable production and consumption by influencing or affirming positive actions by consumers, retailers, manufacturers and producers alike.

      Ultimately this can lead to changing social norms and expectations of certain products.

       

      A good example of this can be seen in paints. Paint fumes are caused by volatile organic compounds (VOCs). VOCs have adverse impacts on human health and well-being as well as the environment, causing air pollution, asthma and headache, for example. Increasing public and business demand for less toxic, low VOC paints has resulted in changes in manufacturing and production. Now, low VOC paints, such as those certified by GECA, are widely available and commonly used in commercial and domestic building projects.

      See Resources for presentations and audio recordings from GECA’s Speaker Event: ‘Do Ecolabels Drive Sustainable Production and Consumption?’


Getting certified

  • What is a Licensing Agreement?
    • A Licensing Agreement is the agreement between the licensee and GECA. This agreement sets out the rules that apply to the use of the Licence Certificate, GECA Ecolabel and licensing fees. This states that the licensee will keep up to date with any required audits to ensure conformance as requested by GECA. It also outlines the way in which you can use the GECA Logo to promote your product.

  • What is in my GECA License Pack?
    • Your GECA License Pack will contain your Licence Certificate and a guide on use of the Environmental Choice Australia Ecoabel and your unique license number on your products, packaging and collateral.

  • Are there any ongoing compliance requirements?
    • Yes, you are required to complete a surveillance audit to ensure your products or service still conforms to the standards to which they were certified. Standards and products may change during the life of a Licence and as such, every 36 months, applicants will be required to complete a surveillance audit to ensure compliance is still achieved.

      GECA may also request a random audit during the life of a Licence to ensure compliance. Random audits are not triggered by accusations of non-conformance by third parties. Third party accusations will be dealt with per Section A3.3.1 of the GECA Scheme Rules. For a copy of the GECA Scheme Rules please contact GECA’s administration office.

  • How are Licensing Fees generated and how much is it going to cost?
    • GECA license fees are payable annually on the anniversary date your License Certificate was awarded. Your first years’ licence fees are payable within 21 days of returning the turnover declaration form to GECA and are generated based on an estimate of first years turnover. This form will be provided to you when GECA receives the Letter of Conformance from the CAB.

      NOTE: You are only required to provide the turnover of those products which are GECA certified only.

The GBCA Fitout Calculators and GECA Certified Products

  • What Implications are there for GECA Licensees and their Products?
    • What Implications are there for GECA Licensees and their Products?

      The GBCA’s ‘Materials Calculator v2 Draft’ was renamed and released by the GBCA as the ‘Fitout Calculators’ in 2011.

      The Fitout Calculators will affect GECA Licensees and their products positively because they are designed to encourage product certification.

      The GBCA Fitout Calculators are designed to reduce churn rates of fitout items in building projects by awarding Green Star points for use of reused products and certified products that have product stewardship policies.

      GBCA Fitout Calculators: Implications for Green Building Professionals

      There will be only 3 ways to achieve 100% points in Green Star building projects within the Fitout Calculators:

      • by using reused items in a fitout,
      • by choosing Level A certified products for fitouts, or
      • by choosing products with a Level B licence and having a Product Stewardship Contract with your supplier where a fitout leases the items from the supplier (not purchases them).

      This means that if new products are being used in a Green Star Project fitout, they must be certified in order to be able to achieve 100% points. This was not the case with the old calculators, meaning your certification becomes more valuable as new, uncertified products cannot achieve this score.

  • When will the GBCA’s Fitout Calculators be integrated into Green Star Tools?
    • The new Fitout Calculators will only be integrated into new Green Star rating tools. Green Star – Office Interiors PILOT has been released. Green Star – Public Buildings v1 will be released in 2013 and will be the second tool to include the new Fitout Calculators. Other Green Star Tools are planned for review and release in their final form throughout 2013-2014. Please contact the GBCA for updates on new rating tool release dates.

Latest news

GECA releases new standards for furniture and fittings

Good Environmental Choice Australia (GECA) has released the updated and significantly revised versions of its two furniture standards. Both standards have been officially recognised by the Green Building Council of Australia (GBCA), with the Furniture, Fittings, Foam and Mattresses standard at Level A and the Furniture and Fittings standard at Level B. “Currently, more than

Read MoreSee all news

 

Learn more about the benefits of environmental certification for your products by reading our casestudies

GECA has helped countless Australian businesses obtain certification

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What our clients say about us

The entire everroll range of rubber flooring is certified under the Good Environmental Choice Australia (GECA) Floor Covering Standard. It achieves a Level A 100 per cent item score in the GBCA Fitout Calculators Guide v1 for Flooring. We chose to become GECA certified because we feel that it is important to communicate to consumers that we take environmental responsibility seriously and GECA helps us do this. As well as its sustainable properties, everroll offers architects and designers other benefits including durability, sound absorption, slip resistance, modular designs, aesthetic appeal and comfort.

Amy Ghassibe
REGUPOL

When Sheldon Commercial Interiors was appointed to design the new offices for world renowned company Faber-Castell it was excited by the opportunity to incorporate the bright palette of colours in a bold new interior. The new fit-out also presented a great opportunity for designer Tara Gunasekera to incorporate environmentally sustainable design initiatives including the specification of a great range of GECA certified products including the innovative Logic system. Using environmentally preferable GECA certified products is something we try to achieve as often as possible. We recognise the importance of introducing better products for the environment in the commercial sphere and this is integral to our design philosophy.

David Monardo, Sales Director
SHELDON

Fitting out such a large project with sustainably preferable furniture is rewarding. That a well-renowned and international company would choose to use GECA certified Office Link Group furniture is exciting and without doubt, a step in the right direction for improving sustainability in the workplace. The whole work zone looks great — the architect has done a wonderful job of creating the space. With the addition of the sustainably preferable products that are proven to improve the health and wellbeing of those in the workspace, it is now a really nice place to work.

Vern Currie
OFFICE LINK GROUP

Being an environmentally aware business, we needed a way to ensure, adhere and implement sustainably preferable strategies into our business plan. The team at GECA is co-operative and their guidance ensured that we not only complied with green standards, but exceeded them. The process is credible and well-received in the market place and ensures that we are set apart from the not-so-genuine ‘greenwashing’ companies.

Donna McMullen, Director 
DIRECT ERGONOMICS

GECA is seen by major clients across Australia and internationally to be a credible organisation that provides certification to forward thinking companies that seek to maintain and further environmental standards. Envirofluid is glad to be associated with the GECA label”.

Lydia Ohlmeyer, Marketing and Operations Manager
ENVIROFLUID

Having GECA certification gives added credibility to our already strong Europlank brand. The GECA ecolabel confirms that Havwoods Europlank has been rigorously assessed for its impact over its life cycle and it is safer for our clients, their families and colleagues. When you choose Havwoods GECA certified Europlank you can have confidence in the environmental and health claims of this product range.

David Hickson, General Manager
HAVWOODS

Clients say it’s GECA or nothing. If you don’t have GECA certification it’s a negative. GECA certification is a priority for Haworth.

John Stamoulos
HAWORTH

GBCA Green Star projects are a fantastic way of promoting environmentally aware developments that benefit all parties involved. Jardan is committed to the advertisement of eco-labelling as a means of encouraging sustainable practice,

Andy Collins, Design Assistant
JARDAN

Our GECA certified EcoWorx carpet tiles ticked all the boxes. Certified with the highest level of GECA certification and a Green Star Level A product rating according to the Green Building Council of Australia, EcoWorx carpet tiles are 100 per cent PVC free and are backed with an environmental guarantee for reclamation and recycling. We chose to get GECA certified because people are demanding sustainable products and here in Australia GECA helps demonstrate our commitment to sustainability. This design focused product is also durable and low-maintenance enabling it to withstand the unique demands of a healthcare environment.

Allison Trebilcock, specification consultant
SHAW CONTRACT GROUP

To discuss getting your product GECA certified, get in touch with us now.

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