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GREEN PRODUCT CERTIFICATION: GPC
What is GPC
GPC is a third party certification of products that are either results of innovation to reduce consumption of resources including energy or are manufactured through an green technology and eco-friendly management systems. The entire concept of GP certification is based upon voluntary initiative by Manufacturers and some other organizations who believe in manufacture and supply of ECO-Responsive products in order to SAVE THE PLANET. This certification authorizes the manufacturer to label his products as ECO-Friendly.
Who can obtain GPC
Any organization who is producing products or providing services that meet following criteria can opt for GPC :-
i. Sustainable Product / Service
ii. Raw Material / Input Criteria - Organization need to evidence optimum utilization of inputs thereby continually reducing waste and target at ZERO waste in long run and should have developed suitable management programs for the same.
iii. Energy Utilization Criteria - Optimise utilization and Reduce Waste of Electricity, Heat Energy & Mechanical energy etc.
iv. Green Technology Criteria - Organization needs to use green technologies in production / providing service / upgrade its technology & improve upon existing methodologies, resulting in energy efficient machinery, equipment, gadgets & utilities.
v. Use of sources of renewable energy - think of Solar energy, Bio Gas
vi. efficiency criteria - efficient water utilization in the processes and general use in the organization.
vii. Environmental Management Criteria - organization should implement documented
Environmental Management System and should look into its significant aspects related to its activities and mitigate / continually reduce the impact on the Environment.
Participate in Environmental protection programs within the organization and outside in society. Prevent / reduce pollution & Land contamination and take care of flora & fauna. Keep your own vehicles under pollution check and put restrictions on hired trucks to comply with pollution control norms.
viii. Ethical Operations criteria - GPC has a great deal of connection to the mind set of the top management of the organization. If you are ethical in business practices, it is obvious that you will be ethical in all your activities. Understand the need of social accountability and your responsibility to the labour who is not only earning its piece of bread but is also assisting you to earn your bread & butter.
ix. Occupational Health & Safety Criteria - Organization to adopt OHSAS 18001 std. / develop a system equivalent to that and implement in the organization. Take care of health and safety of your employees and visitors to your organization, since they are part of the Environment.
x. Regional Priority Criteria - Organization to attend to regional priorities related to the Environment. Get in touch with an NGO or directly participate in use of local resources / raw material to reduce pollution & resource depletion on account of transportation. Employ local work force since transportation is involved in their commuting as well.
Why there is a need for GPC
An ecosystem is made up by interaction of biotic & abiotic factors. Biotic factors are living organisms whereas non living variables like light, oxygen, climate, soil & water are abiotic factors. All such factors that affect an organism are considered as Environment. Organisms and their environment constantly interact, and both are changed by this interaction.
Unfortunately for the past few years, human beings world over, due to their actions, have caused a great impact on the Environment. Some of the noteworthy actions include, destruction of the world's tropical rain forests to create grazing land for cattle, drying up of almost three-quarters of the Aral Sea, once the world's fourth-largest freshwater lake, for irrigation purposes. Human actions have altered climate patterns, changed the distribution of species of animals and plants & have long term effects on ecosystems. There is a global concern about this change. Nations have taken a serious note of rapidly depleting natural resources, excessively increasing pollution, destruction and extinction of species, acid rains and depletion of ozone layer. Countries are aware of the disasters which will forth come, in case we do not take care of the Environment today. It is globally felt that there is a need develop a world wide effort to monitor and restrict global pollution as most forms of pollution do not respect national boundaries. United Nations has taken initiative in this regard and held few international conferences on the Environmental issues in the recent past and many international agreements have been reached.
Problem is that on one side we require products to meet ever increasing human needs and on the other side we affect the Environment adversely when we manufacture products. Problem gets aggravated when we ignore our concern about the Environment while engaging blindly in to manufacturing activities. It has been viewed globally that industry, trade, Infrastructure development including construction activities are equally causing impact on the Environment. There is a greater need to understand the magnitude of this problem and responsive business approach is required to be adopted.
There are many nations in the world that have taken initiative to develop standards and criteria for products and services and a great more is required to be done in the field of eco responsiveness. It needs co-operation from industry, trade, business houses, Govts, NGOs and volunteers to actively participate in saving the Planet Earth. Industrialization, infrastructure growth business expansions need to have growth which is with sustainable.
In U.S and many other countries all new and renovated buildings are being certified by USGBC as per LEED criteria. LEED stands for Leadership for Energy & Environmental Design. The LEED certification program is certification of New and existing buildings against LEED Standards. These standards are developed and maintained by U.S. Green Building Council (USGBC) which is based in a Washington, D.C., It is a non-profit group and is made up of hundreds of volunteers and professionals who maintain and innovate the LEED standards.
While there is a good awareness about LEED certification in the world, the approach to manufacture Eco-Responsive product has also picked up in the recent past. Organizations engaged in building construction and renovations are coming forward with a requirement that their suppliers should supply products that are Eco-Responsive and sustainable. Such products which meet the criteria of certification, can be claimed to be GREEN PRODUCTS. Green product certification attest that the
product manufactured and supplied by an organization is sustainable and eco friendly and is suitable for use in Green Buildings.
The Green Product certification is demanded by the Architects and developers of Green Building projects. It has grown from a coalition of non-profit environmental organization, builders, architects, engineers, and manufacturers.
Other Industry & Trade
There is comparatively less awareness in Engineering Industry and trade regarding GPC. Question comes- No one else is bothered about manufacturing Green Products in my trade, why should I do it. There is always someone who has to take a lead. This is a wakeup call to all of us to act urgently and ensure that product and services provided by us are Eco-Friendly.
It causes concern to everyone. Manufacturers of Machines, Engineering products - metal, plastic, rubber anything, Transporters, Software developers, Hotels, Malls, Multiplexes, Colonizers, Nursing Homes, Hospitals and almost everyone needs to contribute towards protection of the ENVIRONMENT. Even Hospitals, as they also use resources and create medical waste.
Benefits of Green Product Certification
1. Green product certification is more of a moral obligation of the product manufacturer / Service Provider and the Eco - Friendly Label indicates that the manufacturer is concerned about the protection of the ENVIRONMENT.
2. This certification provides an Ethical image to the manufacturer and he gets a recognition in the market.
3. GPC sets in a process of improvement in your organization. Improvement in resource utilization and reduction of waste.
4. It is cost effective.
5. Green certification meets requirements of the customers and helps in obtaining additional business.
6. GPC indicates that the manufacturer and his employees know that their product uses resources more efficiently than other manufacturers and their activities connected with the manufacture and supply of Green Product / Service has a minimal impact on air and water quality, noise, and solid waste.
Procedure for Obtaining GPC
1. Make your own preparation and internal assessment of your activities while looking into GPC criteria.
2. Apply to SWISSCERT on prescribed application along with Application Fee.
3. Submit Documents and evidences for review to SWISSCERT. SWISSCERT shall send you written report regarding initial review of your documentation and programs.
4. Fix up a date with SWISSCERT for certification and submit Certification fee to SWISSCERT.
5. SWISSCERT shall conduct an on site audit and look into your products, their application, manufacturing processes and Environmental programs etc. And verify if your organization meets criteria of certification.
6. There shall always be lapses. Do not be disheartened. If the non-conformity is minor SWISSCERT Audit shall apprise you accordingly and prepare his report. This report is reviewed by appropriate Authority in SWISSCERT and if all is well, SWISSCERT pronounces grant of certificate.
7. You shall be provided a five digit customer ID and that shall be your certificate number. SWISSCERT shall send you soft / hard copy of the certificate as desired along with a score card. This score card is indicative of the clear cut status as to where does the organization stand and what actions it need to initiate to improve its performance to manufacture Eco-Responsive / Green Products provide Eco-friendly services. You need to improve upon your score.
8. SWISSCERT shall perform two surveillance audit in a period of three years between 11-12 & 23-24 months from the date of certification. Improvement of your score shall be noticed and verified during surveillance audits.
9. SWISSCERT shall provide you a Label and authorise you to use it on your product / product packing. In addition you shall be authorized to indicate that your products and services are eco -friendly.
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