Green Product Certification to transform Indian market

CII – Godrej GBC launches the Green Product Certification programme to bring-in transparency, enhance credibility and empower customers
Major cities in India are witnessing expansion of its boundaries and the infrastructural growth is at its best. With this massive infrastructural construction underway, resources of the cities are put under stress. Energy requirements for these cities are skyrocketing which places a huge burden on the already stressed out state electricity boards.
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 cities and disposal of waste generated from both residential and commercial buildings is fast becoming an environmental hazard.
With India witnessing a rapid infrastructure development, preserving the environment poses a host of challenges. To enable the construction industry environmentally sensitive, CII-Sohrabji Godrej Green Business Centre has established the Indian Green Building Council (IGBC).
The council encourages, builders, developers, owners, architects and consultants to design and construct green buildings thereby enhancing the economic and environmental performance of buildings.
The green building movement in India has been spearheaded by IGBC since 2001, by creating awareness amongst the stakeholders. The council has been instrumental in enabling 2.06 billion sq.ft. of green buildings in the country. 
The green building space is growing at an exponential rate and by 2020 India would host 10 billion sq.ft. of green building space. This 10 billion sq.ft. of green building space, would host materials worth of $ 250 billion. The market for green products is huge and greening this enormous market is what green product certification is trying to achieve
Green Product CertificationGreen Product Certification aims at market transformation for green products in India. By certifying green products, the visibility of green products in the market would increase therebytransforming the market as whole for green products.
Why Green Product CertificationTraditionally 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 ratings. Also since there are no certifications, the customers had to rely only on the claims of the manufacturers and there is no transparency.
To bring in transparency, credibility and customer empowerment, CII – Godrej GBC is launching the Green Product Certification.
Benefits of Green Product Certification• A system to measure and certify “greeness” of a product• Bring product transparency• Customer empowerment• Differentiate the sustainable manufacturers from the commercial manufactures• Spur the demand for the Green products in building sector• Encourage manufacturers to manufacture only green products.
The Green Product Certification would point to products that are eco- and health-friendlier than comparable products. Certificate is only awarded to products which – from a holistic point of view – are of considerable benefit to the environment and, at the same time, meet high standards of health, and occupational protection.
Holistic approachA comprehensive approach from raw materials to end of life of products is considered for the rating system. The product is rated for its environmental friendliness right from the raw material stage. The manufacturing process, packaging, and recycling are being considered for the certification. Therefore the certification program provides an excellent platform for the manufacturers to showcase their product environmental performance to the consumers.
Green Products CouncilGreen Product Certification is a voluntary, consensus based, and market-driven program and is designed to address national priorities. The Green Product Certification program of CII – Godrej GBC would involve all the stakeholders like architects, developers, product manufacturers, testing agencies and consumers.
The overall certification program will be guided by Green Product Council. The council would comprise of all stakeholders and council would be chaired by R ParasuRaman, Past Chairman, Indian Green Building Council and Past Vice Chairman, World Green Building Council. Mr ParasuRaman has played a pioneering role in the spread of the green building movement.
Vision of Green Product CouncilThe vision of the council is to build an environment centric certification system which would empower customers with product information and also help them to choose products ranging from daily use to industrial use.
Green Product Certification workshopCII – Godrej GBC has conducted a stakeholder workshop on 6th May in Mumbai. The main objective of the workshop was to take the views and inputs from all the major stakeholders and decide on the next steps. There was an overwhelming response for the certification program and several manufacturers have volunteered for the pilot certification.
The workshop revealed that there is an immediate need for a green product certification in India. Product manufacturers felt that the certification program can help to transform the market for green products in India.

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