Green Seal-Certified Products Just Got More Valuable in LEED and Federal Purchasing

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Green Seal Notice
Posted:
Categories
Green Seal Notice
Posted:

The newest version of the LEED® rating system includes a key update: Green Seal-certified cleaning products and materials can now help facilities earn 2 points toward LEED certification.  This means that certified green cleaning products can account for 5% of the 40 points buildings need to earn the minimum level LEED® certification.  

The updates are part of the draft LEED v5.0 Rating System for Operations and Maintenance: Existing Buildings, which the U.S. Green Building Council (USGBC) recently released for public comment.  

In the previous version of LEED, v4.1, Green Seal-certified products could contribute toward 1 LEED point. The doubling of the point value in the newest version reflects the growing recognition of the role of green cleaning products in sustainable building operations.   

To earn the 2 points, 90% or more of a building’s cleaning products and materials must meet a credible standard such as Green Seal’s. This includes cleaning and degreasing products, hand soaps and hand sanitizers, disinfectants, sanitary paper, and trash can liners. Buildings can earn 1 point if 75% of their products meet these criteria. See the criteria here.  

New PFAS-Free Federal Purchasing Requirement  

Green Seal-certified products also became more valuable to federal purchasers this week when the Biden-Harris administration announced they must buy products that are free of PFAS and specified Green Seal-certified cleaning products and hand soaps.  

In 2022, we prohibited the entire class of more than 12,000 PFAS chemicals in our cleaning and personal care product standards, putting Green Seal-certified products in a strong leadership position on these toxic “forever chemicals.”  

In addition to aligning with this new federal mandate, Green Seal’s broad definition of PFAS aligns with emerging state regulations on PFAS, including in California, Colorado, Maine, Maryland, Minnesota, Oregon, and Washington, putting certified products ahead of the curve on ingredient bans. 

The USGBC and federal government announcements are the most recent among hundreds of purchasing policies that use Green Seal as shorthand for proven-safer products. That’s because sustainability leaders know our science-based standards demand true leadership at every stage of the product lifecycle. Along with the manufacturers in the Green Seal community, we will continue to ensure the Green Seal certification mark helps buyers cut through the chaos to find products that meet truly comprehensive health and sustainability standards —from beginning to end. 

Brittany Maule

Brittany Maule is the Director of Products and Standards at Green Seal.