The CradletoCradle (C2C) Products Innovation Institute offers a certification program that allows building products to receive a scorecard rated by Bronze, Silver, Gold, and Platinum levels in five categories:
The C2C label represents the highest overall standards in the industry today. Project teams can use the scorecard to find products that match project criteria, as it is possible for a product to rate Bronze in one category and Platinum in another.
There is no cost to use the C2C database.
EcoLogo and GreenGuard
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Launched by the Canadian government in 1988, EcoLogo is one of the most established and longest-running environmental labeling programs.
Underwriter’s Laboratories (UL) acquired the program in 2010. EcoLogo is one of the few multi-attribute labels, considering a range of life-cycle impacts for each listed product.
UL also offers the GreenGuard certification, a single-attribute rating that is focused on human health concerns stemming from materials’ emissions.
While LEED and other building rating systems recognize EcoLogo and GreenGuard as a means of ensuring that products meet a minimum environmental standard, these ratings do not ensure the highest levels of performance. They are based on industry and/or government standards, and products that surpass these minimum thresholds are not necessarily exemplary, and may just be “less bad.” For example, a number of spray foam insulation products are listed in both registries, despite containing flame retardant chemicals that are known to be dangerous to human health and which appear on most chemical “Red Lists.” The bar for these programs is low, but there are products that go well above that bar. These ratings are best used to narrow down the field of selection, and then you can do further research to ascertain if products meet your criteria.
The product databases for both programs are free to access.