Frequently Asked Questions

Ecolabelling

What is ISO 14024?

The global principles and procedures for ecolabelling are set out by the International Organisation for Standardisation (ISO) in its standard ISO 14024, which identifies three types of ecolabels:

  • Type I: a multi-attribute ecolabel developed by a third party
  • Type II: a single-attribute ecolabel developed by the producer themselves
  • Type III: an ecolabel based on a full life-cycle assessment 

Of these, the Type 1 ecolabel is recognised as the most robust and credible.

GECA pioneered ecolabelling in Australia in line with ISO 14024, and is the only not-for-profit, independent Type 1 ecolabel in Australia.

See also 'What is Ecolabelling and Why is it important?' in our About pages.

Close

What are the key qualities to look for in an ecolabel?

Key qualities to look for in an ecolabel are:

  • independence
  • transparency and consistency in its standards
  • third party accreditation and verification processes (where the verification and licencing agencies are also independent of one another)

Robustness, credibility and impartiality are what build the reputations of good ecolabels so that suppliers and consumers can come to trust them.

Close

Do ecolabels help drive sustainable production and consumption?

Yes they do.

By gaining consumer confidence and trust, ecolabels help increase sales of products that perform better socially and environmentally. In this way, they can help drive demand and supply of more sustainable production and consumption by influencing or affirming positive actions by consumers, retailers, manufacturers and producers alike.

Ultimately this can lead to changing social norms and expectations of certain products.

A good example of this can be seen in paints. Paint fumes are caused by volatile organic compounds (VOCs). VOCs have adverse impacts on human health and well-being as well as the environment, causing air pollution, asthma and headache, for example. Increasing public and business demand for less toxic, low VOC paints has resulted in changes in manufacturing and production. Now, low VOC paints, such as those certified by GECA, are widely available and commonly used in commercial and domestic building projects.

See Resources for presentations and audio recordings from GECA's Speaker Event: 'Do Ecolabels Drive Sustainable Production and Consumption?'

 

Close

Getting certified

What is a Licensing Agreement?

A Licensing Agreement is the agreement between the licensee and GECA. This agreement sets out the rules that apply to the use of the Licence Certificate, GECA Ecolabel and licensing fees. This states that the licensee will keep up to date with any required audits to ensure conformance as requested by GECA. It also outlines the way in which you can use the GECA Logo to promote your product.

Close

What is in my GECA License Pack?

Your GECA License Pack will contain your Licence Certificate and a guide on use of the Environmental Choice Australia Ecoabel and your unique license number on your products, packaging and collateral.

Close

Are there any ongoing compliance requirements?

Yes, you are required to complete regular surveillance audits to ensure your products or services still conform to the standards to which they were certified. Standards and products may change during the life of a Licence and as such, within the first 12 months of licensing, and roughly 24 months thereafter, applicants will be required to complete a surveillance audit to ensure compliance is still achieved.

GECA may also request a random audit during the life of a Licence to ensure compliance. Random audits are not triggered by accusations of non-conformance by third parties. Third party accusations will be dealt with per Section A3.3.1 of the GECA Scheme Rules. For a copy of the GECA Scheme Rules please contact GECA’s administration office.

Close

How are Licensing Fees generated and how much is it going to cost?

GECA license fees are payable annually on the anniversary date your License Certificate was awarded. Your  first years’ licence fees are payable within 21 days of returning the turnover declaration form to GECA and are generated based on an estimate of first years turnover. This form will be provided to you when GECA receives the Letter of Conformance from the CAB.

These fees are to be generated based on one year’s sales figures (NET sales figures, not including GST). Sales figures need to be presented on a Turnover Declaration Form which must be submitted to GECA at least one month prior to the renewal date.

NOTE: You are only required to provide the turnover of those products which are GECA certified, and should declare all sales of those products (eg sales to Green Star projects plus all other sales).

This form will determine your licensing fees for the following year, the schedule of licensing fees will assist you in determining the fees that will fall due to those products certified.

Close

The GBCA Fitout Calculators and GECA Certified Products

What Implications are there for GECA Licensees and their Products?

What Implications are there for GECA Licensees and their Products?

The GBCA’s ‘Materials Calculator v2 Draft’ was renamed and released by the GBCA as the ‘Fitout Calculators’ in 2011.

The Fitout Calculators will affect GECA Licensees and their products positively because they are designed to encourage product certification.

The GBCA Fitout Calculators are designed to reduce churn rates of fitout items in building projects by awarding Green Star points for use of reused products and certified products that have product stewardship policies.

GBCA Fitout Calculators: Implications for Green Building Professionals

There will be only 3 ways to achieve 100% points in Green Star building projects within the Fitout Calculators:

  1. by using reused items in a fitout, 
  2. by choosing Level A certified products for fitouts, or 
  3. by choosing products with a Level B licence and having a Product Stewardship Contract with your supplier where a fitout leases the items from the supplier (not purchases them). 

This means that if new products are being used in a Green Star Project fitout, they must be certified in order to be able to achieve 100% points. This was not the case with the old calculators, meaning your certification becomes more valuable as new, uncertified products cannot achieve this score.

 

 

Close

When will the GBCA's Fitout Calculators be integrated into Green Star Tools?

The new Fitout Calculators will only be integrated into new Green Star rating tools. Green Star - Office Interiors PILOT has been released. Green Star – Public Buildings v1 will be released in 2013 and will be the second tool to include the new Fitout Calculators. Other Green Star Tools are planned for review and release in their final form throughout 2013-2014. Please contact the GBCA  for updates on new rating tool release dates.

 

Close