An ecolabel for tile and stone: what you need to know
What are the benefits of having an ecolabel for tile and stone manufacturers? What's involved in the process - and how will certification affect sales? GECA recently spoke to Tile Today magazine to answer the important questions surrounding obtaining an ecolabel for tile and/or stone products.
According to information published in [a paper entitled 'Strategic Environmental Communication Tools', presented at Qualicer, the World Congress on Ceramic Tile Quality, in 2014], there is a clear, distinct trend: big, private organisations and especially public organisations, prioritising products that present environmental upgrades or that are transparent in regard to the environmental information they provide. Is this the case in Australia?
We are seeing more companies in Australia making environmental sustainability a priority, especially in their purchasing decisions and operations management. As for the transparency of information, I think that’s an area where there’s still some room for improvement, but awareness of the need for accurate product information is definitely increasing. It is especially true in the case of buildings looking to achieve a Green Star rating, since it is much easier to use products with that third-party environmental certification, which validates any environmental claims. This is particularly the case since the Green Building Council of Australia (GBCA) brought out the ‘sustainable products’ credit to encourage transparency.
Please provide a brief outline of the kind of information you require from a local manufacturer or importer seeking to gain an ecolabel?
We are interested in things like where a product is made, what are the main materials used, and how it is used. When the product goes through the auditing process, our independent auditors will require a little more information and documentation. We are interested in where the materials were quarried or mined from, and how environmentally sustainable and efficient the site is, fair pay for employees, legal and social compliance, the amount of product packaging used, whether the product contains certain substances, and how they manage their energy, water and waste. Those are some of the main things we look for.
To read the full version of the interview, check out the complete story (available online here) in Tile Today magazine, volume 23 issue 86.