GECA

Green Certification Services

Since 2000 GECA has been dedicated to working with both the supply and demand of sustainable products and services. We're a purpose driven, not for profit that is motivated to work with manufacturers and businesses that can create a positive change for planet and people. Our certification scheme was the first of its kind in Australia and is recognised and or contributes to the many leading building certification programs in Australia and globally, such as Green Star, WELL, LEED, LBC and ISCA. GECA is proud to part of the Global Ecolababelling Network (GEN) with many leading international Type-1 environmental labels, which also play an important role in their respective countries. Mutual recognition though our GEN network makes it easier for companies to use environmental labels in other relevant countries. We can assist manufacturers with achieving certification in other GEN member countries and vice versa. We’ve developed our own rigorous standards, following ISO 14024 principles for global best practice in ecolabelling, which are then independently audited by JAS-ANZ accredited Conformance Assessment Bodies before a product can achieve GECA certification. We empower architects, builders, designers and consumers to have confidence in their purchasing decisions, and trust GECA certified products to be healthier, safer, and better for the environment. Providing transparent and independently audited products and services for ultimate peace of mind when purchasing.
Specialties

GECA's specialties and services include: - Third party certification and ecolabelling - Life-cycle Assessment. - Standards Development - Sustainable Products Database - Consultation and Advisory Services - Sustainable Procurement - Education & Training - Events, Corporate and Community Engagement - Helping businesses add trust and credibility to their product and or service environmental claims.

Industry

Green Certification Services

Country

Australia

Company address

Suite G01 15 Belvoir Street , Surry Hills, NSW 2010

5 points

GECA releases new standards for furniture and fittings

GECA releases new standards for furniture and fittings

19 Oct 2017

Good Environmental Choice Australia (GECA) has released the updated and significantly revised versions of its two furniture standards. Both standards have been officially recognised by the Green Building Council of Australia (GBCA), with the Furniture, Fittings, Foam and Mattresses standard at Level A and the Furniture and Fittings standard at Level B.

“Currently, more than three-quarters of all GECA certified products fall under one of the two furniture standards,” said GECA’s Standards and Technical Manager, Shaila Divakarla. “It’s great to see so many furniture and fittings manufacturers on the market who are committed to making products with lower environmental, health and social impacts – and we’re very excited to see a growing interest in certification from mattress manufacturers.”

Key changes to the standards include:

  • Inclusion of mattresses within the scope of the Furniture, Fittings & Foam (Level A) standard
  • Improved alignment between both furniture standards and simplification of wording for some criteria
  • Changes to material requirements for fabrics and adhesives
  • Addition of a new criterion addressing issues of supply chain and human rights
  • Organotin (tin) catalysts no longer allowed
  • Changed requirements regarding product warranty periods in Level A standard
  • Stricter requirements for emissions, especially for formaldehyde in the Level A standard
  • New requirements for Documents of Conformance in the Level B standard

The manufacture, use and disposal of furniture products can have a negative environmental impact caused by anything from the choice of raw materials used, to coatings, textiles, and adhesives. Manufacturers may use hazardous treatments or may be managing their energy and water use poorly during production. GECA certification demonstrates that a product meets strict criteria for environmental, health and social impacts.

The updated standards have been developed following a public comment period and consultations with industry professionals on the Technical Advisory Group.

To request a copy of the standard, please register your details here.

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4 key steps to writing a sustainable procurement policy

4 key steps to writing a sustainable procurement policy

Emma Berthold

29 Jan 2018

Developing a sustainable procurement policy is an important and worthy goal for any organisation or business. It’s not just about buying the eco-friendliest products out there – sustainable procurement means taking the social and economic impacts of purchased goods and services into account, along with their environmental footprint.

Through sustainable procurement, your organisation can build resilience and become future proofed through increased efficiency and effectiveness. A policy will benefit your bottom line and help you to manage supply chain risk, so it’s a win for your business as well as for the planet and the people on it.

So, where do you start? And – more importantly – how can policymakers know what sustainable or “green” procurement even means?

When you don’t have experience with sustainable purchasing or an understanding of the complex issues surrounding it, it can be challenging to know what sort of criteria to include in a sustainable procurement policy document, or which products and services meet all those criteria.

So, we’ve put together this handy guide to help get you started!

1. Decide what matters most to your organisation

When writing your policy, keep your organisation’s top sustainability priorities in mind, making sure these are clearly defined and aligned with your organisation’s core values. Sometimes it may not be feasible to try to meet every possiblesustainable goal.

Some businesses may place a higher value on lowering their environmental impact, while others may be drawn to labour practices or human rights issues. Ultimately, every policy should include a requirement for continual improvement towards meeting sustainability goals.

2. Set your core procurement criteria

Once priorities have been set, it’s time to identify the potential environmental, health and social impacts of products and services, as well as the risks. This is where other standards organisations can help.

The new ISO 20400 Sustainable Procurement Standard, for instance, was published mid-2017. The standard provides a thorough understanding of the sustainability considerations that must be considered across all areas of procurement, from policy to organisation to processes, and provides guidance for how these can be implemented on a practical level.

3. Choose goods and services that meet criteria

Independent certification is the only way to make sure you are genuinely buying sustainable products, thanks to the built-in auditing and assurance processes.

Key qualities to look for in an ecolabel are:

🍃 independence;

🍃 transparency and consistency in its standards; and

🍃 third party accreditation and verification processes (where the verification and licencing agencies are also independent of one another).

Ecolabels like GECA can fit perfectly into sustainable procurement policies, considering that certifying bodies have most likely done all the work for you in determining whether a product meets certain sustainability criteria. GECA’s standards documents, for example, contain detailed criteria for environmental, health and social performance, as well as including criteria that ensures products are fit for purpose.

Another useful resource is the Global Ecolabelling Network (GEN), which is a non-profit association of leading ecolabelling organisations spread across 57 countries and territories. GECA is proud to be the only Australian member of GEN. With so many certified products available, there has never been a better time for organisations and businesses to start creating a sustainable procurement policy.

4. Keep records and communicate to your stakeholders

Finally, make sure you keep accurate records of all purchasing decisions for future reference. These are important for measuring progress against your sustainable purchasing goals, managing risk, and for informing any ongoing development of your policy document. It’s also important to communicate your purchasing decisions to stakeholders, establishing your organisation’s reputation for responsible procurement and building trust.

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If you’re ready to start working on developing or updating your sustainable procurement policy, don’t do it alone – sign up with the GECA Positive Procurement Pledge! You’ll have the support of a trusted ecolabelling organisation behind you, with access to expert advice, a community of fellow pledgers, and plenty of marketing benefits too. Find out more at gecapledge.eco

 

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The GECA 'Materials In Mind' pod

The GECA 'Materials In Mind' pod

GECA

29 Jan 2018

The GECA ‘Materials in Mind’ pod is an interactive showcase of beautiful and functional GECA Certified building materials and furniture, all inside a uniquely repurposed 20ft (6×2.2m) used shipping container.

Visitors can interact with the pod via the built-in educational elements, which outline the key environmental, health and social issues associated with different building materials.

Materials In Mind was first launched at Sydney Indesign, and was very popular with visitors to the event. “Visitors loved the design and look of the container and enjoyed the interactive elements of learning more about what environmental, health and social criteria to look for in a material or product,” said GECA’s Marketing Manager, Paula Clasby.

Throughout the built environment and interior design industries, there is an increasing focus on the environmental impact, social responsibility and the safety of products and materials. A transparent, ethical and sustainable supply chain is essential for manufacturers in today’s industry – but how can architects, specifiers and consumers know which products are best?

The interactive showcase of sustainable building materials regularly travels to exhibitions and events throughout the year. To keep up to date with where you can next see the pod for yourself, subscribe to our monthly newsletter.

GECA would like to thank all involved in the creation of Materials in Mind, including KebonyAstec PaintsBGC PlasterboardSpectrum FloorsGrass-celRegupolZenith InteriorsThe Bold CollectiveCaen Creative and Randwick City Council.

Interior

Floor – Artigo/Spectrum Zero 4 rubber floor tiles by Spectrum Floors

Plasterboard – Impact Board by BGC Plasterboard

Paint – Energy Star AC3 Primer and Energy Star DG IR by Astec Paints 

Furniture – Conic Chairs, Edo LoungeMiles chair and Sundatables by Zenith Interiors

Mat – Everroll Recycled Rubber by Regupol

Exterior

Timber – Kebony Radiata Range by Kebony (Supplied by Mafi)

Paint – Energy Star AC3 Primer and Energy Star DG IR by Astec Paints

Green Roof System – Grass-cel by Grass-cel. Roof Plants: Native Pigface

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GECA CEO Kate Harris joins ASBEC as its new Executive Member

GECA CEO Kate Harris joins ASBEC as its new Executive Member

GECA

29 Jan 2018

Kate Harris this week joined ASBEC as its new Executive Member,  joining Romilly Madew, CEO GBCA, Luke Menzel, CEO Energy Efficiency Council, Nicholas Burt, CEO FMAA, Ken Morrison, CEO Property Council of Australia, Monica Richter, Business and Industry Engagement Manager, Climate Change Program, Phil Wilkinson, Executive Manager – Government Relations AIRAH, President Ken Maher, Executive Director Suzanne Toumbourou, and Antony Sprigg, CEO ISCA.

The Australian Sustainable Built Environment Council (ASBEC) is the peak body of key organisations committed to a sustainable built environment in Australia.

Kate Harris is looking forward to working more closely with ASBEC and championing the importance and uptake of sustainable materials and products in the built environment.

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Director

Zureli Pte Ltd

Tim Worthington

Director

It is always a pleasure working with all the team members from GECA. We offer our support and which GECA huge success with their Positive Procurement pledge

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Paula Clasby

Paula Clasby

Marketing Manager

paula@geca.org.au

Paula is a marketing professional with extensive experience in business strategy, communication and project management. She has worked in various roles (including corporate health and safety, advertising, marketing and hospitality), that involved delivering creative direction and marketing management. Her interest in health and environmental issues saw Paula working in corporate health for ten years, in a mix of management, marketing and editorial roles and playing an integral part in corporate health change. Paula draws on her skills and strong interest in environmental and health issues to market GECA’s vision for a society in which people demand sustainable products and services.

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Kate Harris

Kate Harris

CEO

kate@geca.org.au

Kate brings to GECA an extensive background in leadership, capacity building and education aimed at finding sustainable solutions for the future. Kate previously spent six years with the Centre for Sustainability Leadership, including two years as CEO, and two years as non-executive director. She is currently a Non-Executive Director of the Australian Life Cycle Assessment Society (ALCAS) and Living Future Institute Australia, as well as being an Executive Member of the Australian Sustainable Built Environment Council (ASBEC). She is also the founder of consulting firm Future Ready and a graduate of the Asialink Leaders Program. Kate believes passionately in human potential and draws on her diverse experience in the performing arts, executive coaching, cultural change and organisational development, helping individuals, organisations and communities to create a better future. She has held a variety of management, organisational and coaching roles, and has been an ambassador for 1 Million Women and on the Advisory Board for Pollinate Energy.

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