Manufacturers are warned not to make claims about their compliance or otherwise to GECA standards without having undergone a thorough independent assessment. Such claims are considered as misleading by GECA and may be subject to prosecution under the Trade Practices Act.
Good Environmental Choice – Australia (GECA) is the national life cycle based environmental labelling program for consumer and building products offering an independent ecolabel on the basis of environmental preference of products and services.
With the growth and increasing sophistication of the green procurement markets the value and assurance provided by the Good Environmental Choice label is a key driver for effective shifts in the market towards lower environmental impact products.
GECA has now certified over 1.2B worth of consumer and building products on the market from over 75 manufacturers delivering over 400 different product lines.
Certified manufacturers undergo a comprehensive verification of their products environmental attributes in conformance to the GECA standard requirements as developed under ISO 14 024 – International standard for third party environmental labelling bodies. The GECA standards are a stringent environmental benchmark for consumer and building products in Australia.
GECA was recently made aware that some manufacturers have made misleading claims about their products’ compliance to GECA standards. GECA wishes to make it clear that it is highly inappropriate for manufacturers who have not undergone the rigorous and thorough assessment process carried out by GECA to claim compliance with any GECA standard.
GECA is committed to enforcing the use of the Good Environmental Choice label and the accuracy of any information associated with any non certified manufacturer’s use of the standards or references to the Mark.
Such manufacturers may be:
- Intentionally misleading consumers
- Stating compliance without having undertaken any independent testing
- Misrepresenting which products may meet the requirements of the standard
- Incorrectly interpreting the requirements of the standard.
Good Environmental Choice – Australia makes considerable efforts to ensure that only environmentally preferable and high quality products are awarded GECA certification and the international recognition this entails. This is ensured by the rigorous product-specific assessment procedures carried out by GECA technical experts on each and every product certified under a GECA standard.
GECA’s warning to manufacturers making misleading claims that are not certified under Good Environmental Choice – Australia Standards.
It is highly unlikely that any product claiming to comply with GECA standards without having first been assessed by GECA is of comparable environmental preference or quality to a genuine GECA certified product.
Good Environmental Choice – Australia considers any such claims as damaging to the integrity of the internationally recognised Good Environmental Choice label, and disrespectful to the efforts of genuine certified manufacturers who have made great efforts to ensure the compliance of their products to the stringent GECA standard requirements.
The market is actively looking for credible independent verification of environmental claims and such attempts seek to undermine the procurement intent of architects, interior designers, procurement officers and everyday Australians seeking to have a lower environmental impact.
Customers and purchasers should be aware when making their choices that only products carrying the protected Good Environmental Choice label are compliant to GECA standards, regardless of the claims by other manufacturers whose products do not bear the Good Environmental Choice label.
The Good Environmental Choice label is internationally recognised as the mark of life cycle based environmental preference for Australia.