Green Product Certification: A tool for market transformation and combating climate change
S Karthikeyan, Shalini Sharma, Hiran Prashanth, Confederation of Indian Industry- Godrej Green Business Centre (CII-Godrej GBC)
All major cities in India are now witnessing major infrastructure growth and expansion of their boundaries. With this massive infrastructure construction underway, the resources of cities are put under stress. Energy requirements are skyrocketing, which places a huge burden on the already stressed power sector.
Energy stress is not the only by-product of growth. Water availability and waste management has grown to cause more serious problems to cities. Ground water has reached alarmingly low levels in several places and disposal of waste generated from both residential and commercial buildings is fast becoming an environmental hazard.
The green building space is growing at an exponential rate, and by 2020 India will host 10 billion sq. ft. of green building space, worth an estimated $250 billion. The market for green products is huge, and greening this enormous market is what Green Product Certification is trying to achieve. The Green Product Rating Standard for ‘Green Market Transformation’ is a voluntary and innovative step initiated by Confederation of Indian Industry (CII) - Godrej Green Business Centre in Hyderabad, India. The vision of the ‘Green Product and Services Council’ is to build an environment-centric certification system which would empower customers and society at large.
Green Product Certification
Green Product Rating (GPR) for Green Certification aims at promoting responsible and sustainable production and consumption of green products in India. By certifying the ‘greenness’ of products, the visibility of green products in the market would increase simultaneously, providing transparency about the environmental responsibility fulfilled by the producer.
Why Green Product Certification
Traditionally, Indian product manufacturers have been relying on international ratings for certifying their products as green. Since the cost associated with an international certification is high, product manufacturers generally shy away from these rating standards. Also, since there is no existing certification system for Indian situations, and instead customers had to rely only on the claims of the manufacturers, which leaves little space for transparency.
To bring in transparency, credibility and customer empowerment, CII-Godrej GBC is launching the Green Product Certification in early 2015.
Benefits of Green Product Certification
- A system to measure and certify “green-ness” of a product
- Organising the green market and maintaining product transparency
- Customer empowerment
- Differentiate the environmentally friendly manufacturers from less sustainable commercial manufacturers
- Spur the demand for green products
- Encourage manufacturers to produce in environment friendly manner and contribute into ‘green growth’ of the country.
Green Product Certification will follow a ‘cradle to cradle’ approach and is being initiated with the construction sector. Soon it will expand to other sectors including the service sector. Green Product Certification will be awarded to the products which are produced with environment and health protection and have consumer and societal benefit at their core. GPR is also starting with the construction sector and will expand to other manufacturing sectors and services very soon. All product manufacturers in construction sector and consumers are interested and enthusiastic to welcome this Green Product Rating Standard, which will be ready for implementation from January 2015.