Green Certification Without an Audit

Green Certification Without an Audit

Tuesday, January 26, 2010 - 9:00am

CONTENT: Press Release

(3BLMedia/theCSRfeed) January 26, 2010 - Another inconvenient truth is how easily Green claims are being made by the vast majority of business.  Every week, another Green certification pops up confusing the public about the legitimacy of any Green or sustainable certification.  Years ago, janitorial services seized the idea of claiming to be Green because they bought a Green cleaning product and tossed it on the cart.   The truth is that very few Green janitorial services actually offer Green services, but they urgently want their customers to think that they are Green.  It wasn't until the Green Clean Institute required a certification process that this problem was corrected.

With the multitude of internet and local initiative Green certifications, how does anyone know it these certifications are worthy of the credential?  Well, if anyone with the fee can buy a certification online, the credential is worthless and an embarassment for anyone displaying to to the public.  Do us all a favor and tell businesses with an "Easy Green" Internet certification that you do not appreciate their lack of environmental discernment.

Of course, there are other local initiatives where a coalition of well-meaning local people have banded together to promote a citywide or area wide Green business certification.  So, let's run a few simple questions about the integrity of these kind of certifications.  Local Green business certificaions are often free, so how well can they be evaluated for true performance?   We have found the local certifications are xerox copied lists of voluntary compliance that have little more than a visit from a local utility person to offer tips.  Is Green certification the environmental equivolent of a hit-or-miss diet by an overweight person?

We must give a measure of credit for voluntary efforts by people making an effort, but since when does minimalism pass for a serious effort?  The environmental challenge is not properly address with a coalition of well-intended but amateur efforts.  The certification of mediocrity by an ad hoc organization is hurtful because it precludes the kind of serious effort that should be promoted.

The only way to certify a business is by a live assessment and audit.  If there is no audit by a professionally trained person involved in the process, medocrity is the best that will result.  The only way to insure integrity is by a review and verification by someone who knows what to look for.  Would any of us be okay with Joe Blow inspecting the airplane before it takes off with our family?   Shouldn't we let builders inspect their own work and declare them worthy for occupation?   Let's let food suppliers inpect the quality of our food?  Perhaps, drivers should determine on their own if they are speeding or not.  Ridiculous right?

The Green Business League took a bold stand and has insisted that no certification will be offered without a professional assessment and audit.  While other Internet certifiers adds members from a gullible public, this program trained more than 250 Certified Green Consultants who know: 1) what Green is, 2) how it works and 3) how to make it work for business.  In a sea of Easy Green certifications, being an authentically Green certified business is a higher standard and the only way to eventually eliminate the greenwashing that is so prevelant today.

So, the GBL Green Business Certification is not cheap or easy.  It cannot be purchased online, and cannot be acquired by a self-assessment form.   Certified Green Consultants are trained professionals who work with companies to install a bevy of Green Practices and  evaluate progress toward an Earned Green Certification.