GreenGuard Indoor Air Guardian




January 2010

Feature Article
The Year 2009 in Review - Key Milestones for the GREENGUARD Environmental Institute

2009 was a very exciting year for GEI. We continued to expand our reach, increasing awareness and acceptance of GREENGUARD Certification programs and the importance of healthy indoor environments and low-emitting products. Key milestones in 2009 include:

  • Participation in GREENGUARD Certification grew by 84 manufacturers, bringing the total to 260 companies offering GREENGUARD Certified products in more than 20 broad product categories. Significant growth was seen in furniture, flooring and paints. Among the new participating manufacturers are Newell Rubbermaid, a global marketer of consumer and commercial products; Stanley Furniture, a major American manufacturer of home and children’s furniture; Shaw, a leading manufacturer of flooring products; and Parata, an innovative provider of pharmacy automation equipment.
  • Our continuing education programs reached over 7,600 architects and designers in 2009, and we’ve added 167 accredited CEU trainers to the GREENGUARD faculty.
  • In 2009, more than 270 specifications, building standards or programs referenced GREENGUARD Certification to ensure healthy indoor environments and to protect building occupants from chemical exposure.
  • The United States Green Building Council (USGBC) officially accepted GREENGUARD Children & SchoolsSM Certification as an alternative compliance path for flooring and insulation in the Leadership in Energy and Environmental Design (LEED) building rating system. This means that GREENGUARD Children & Schools Certified flooring products contribute towards LEED EQ Credit 4.3.
  • GEI partnered with TÜV Rheinland LGA, adding another testing provider and scientific partner to the GREENGUARD Program.  
  • GREENGUARD PremierSM was launched in pilot phase to expand GREENGUARD’s already stringent chemical emissions criteria and add requirements for chemical content to curb human exposure to harmful chemicals from products used in multiple environments, including offices, schools and homes. Bureau Veritas, GEI’s third independent scientific partner, will provide selected chemical testing.
  • GEI announced its first ANSI approved standard, “ANSI/GREENGUARD Mold and Moisture Management Standard for New Construction,” which will help building and design professionals avoid potentially hazardous and costly mold and moisture issues.
  • GEI attracted attention with its innovative, new “healthy indoor environment” exhibits. These tradeshow booths are designed entirely with GREENGUARD Certified products, demonstrating the breadth and depth of choice in healthy, low-emitting products.

Based on last year’s success, GEI is positioned to continue significant expansion in 2010, building on our foundation of third-party credibility, scientific rigor and solid value creation for all stakeholders. Our commitment to you is to strive to make 2010 another great year for indoor air quality.

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Recently Certified Manufacturers


Reference the GREENGUARD Product GuideSM for specific certified products.

      GREENGUARD Indoor Air Quality Certified®


Calstone Inc. is a family owned and operated, Canadian business that creates and manufactures high quality metal furniture products, in an environmentally responsible facility located in Scarborough, Ontario. Calstone believes in providing a product that is durable, ergonomically correct, modern in style, environmentally safe and easily interchangeable, all with a lifetime guarantee.


Combimix AB
Combimix, headquartered in New Orleans, offers self-leveling floor prep products. Combimix is a leader in Calcium Aluminate Cement Technology with products including underlayment, topping and patch. Combimix products are ideal for Green Building projects, offer excellent jobsite performance and long-term durability.


True Seating Concepts
True Seating Concepts is a world class innovator and manufacturer of office and home seating. True Seating Concepts aims to provide value, style and innovation that improve the way people live and work. The company’s manufacturing is headquartered in Guangdong, China, with sales headquarters in Irvine, CA.


GREENGUARD Children & SchoolsSM Certified



Granorte, Lda
Headquartered in Rio Meo, Portugal, Granorte - Revestimentos de Cortica, Lda is a leading manufacturer of sustainable cork floors for both residential and commercial environments.


Hart & Cooley, Inc.
Hart & Cooley, headquartered in Grand Rapids, MI, offers top quality residential and commercial flexible air duct products manufactured in the USA and distributed through HVAC wholesalers.


Inwood Office Furniture
Inwood Office Invironments is headquartered in Jasper, IN, and manufactures a complete line of office furniture, conference furnishings and educational products.


Jasper Group (JSI)
Jasper Group, based out of Southern Indiana, provides casegoods made from laminate plus a mix of materials including, glass, veneer, acrylic or metal. Providing not only office furniture but serving school, hospitality, and government sectors; Jasper prides itself on quality wood craftsmanship.


Lafarge North America, Inc.
Lafarge in North America (LNA) is the largest diversified supplier of construction materials in the U.S. and Canada. LNA products are used in residential, commercial and public works construction projects across North America.


Lion Chemtech Co.
A leading manufacturer of synthetic wax and special paint appendixes in Korea, Lion Chemtech takes enormous pride in its reputation, continuous improvement processes and creativity.


Pental Granite and Marble
Pental Granite and Marble is a Seattle-based, wholesale tile and stone distributor. Since launching in 1999, Pental has grown to be one of the largest distributors of its kind, offering everything from contemporary tile to traditional, natural stone.

    Promats Athletics, LLC
Promats Athletics, headquartered in Salisbury, NC, is a custom manufacturer of gym wall padding, field wall padding, backstop padding, stadium padding and athletic mat products. Promats' products are used in gyms, recreational facilities and major stadiums around the world.

      Shaw Industries, Inc.
Shaw Industries Group, Inc., a subsidiary of Berkshire Hathaway, Inc., is the world's largest carpet manufacturer and a leading floor covering provider. Shaw is headquartered in Dalton, GA. A recognized leader in environmental stewardship, Shaw has implemented hundreds of sustainability initiatives.



Shnier, Gesco Limited Partnership
Shnier offers products branded as Richmond Laminate, Laurentian Laminate and Rembrandt Wood. Headquartered in Brampton, Ontario, Shnier, Gesco LP is Canada's leading diversified national floor covering solutions company.


USFloors Inc.
Based in Dalton, Georgia, USFloors is a leading producer of sustainable, eco-friendly floors including cork, bamboo, linoleum and FSC-certified hardwood. The company also provides the products to the contract market under the USF Contract brand. USFloors' commitment is to provide consumers and specifiers with beautiful and durable floors at a good value, while minimizing the impact on the environment, and enhancing and improving it whenever possible.

      Vermont Quarries Corp.
Vermont Quarries Corp., headquartered in Mendon, VT, took over the production and operation of the famous Danby Marble quarry in 1992. Danby Marble is known for performance, beauty, excellence and durability. With its wide ranging possibilities from kitchens to world class monuments, Danby Marble is the choice marble for many architects and designers.

      Vinaconex Advanced Compound Stone Joint Stock Company (Vicostone)
Vicostone, headquartered in Ha Noi, Vietnam, is a manufacturer, wholesaler and distributor of engineered stone, quartz stone and quartz slab materials. Vicostone uses bretone technologies to produce compound stone.
Wisconsin Bench

Wisconsin Bench is headquartered in Thorp, WI. The company is the largest manufacturer of butcher block, laminate and ShopTop® bench tops in North America. Wisconsin Bench serves the material handling, commercial, government, education and industrial markets with laminate table tops, cabinetry and laminate furniture.

More certified manufacturers

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GREENGUARD Debuts on Your iPhone!

GEI can now be found on StoryBoy, an interactive iPhone reader application. The StoryBoy article titled, “Tips for Healthy Indoor Air Quality,” educates parents about the importance of good indoor air quality. It is available this month in StoryBoy’s ebook store with the series for kids, "Erika knows green." If you have an iPhone or iPod Touch, simply download the free StoryBoy application and the article from the iTunes store. For more information about StoryBoy, visit


In March 2009, after two years of development, the State of Texas released the TX-CHPS manual based on the core curriculum of the Collaborative for High Performance Schools (CHPS).  Although this K-12 specific building certification originated as a California-only program, 12 states now license the program and include their specific requirements. GREENGUARD Certified products are specified for key indoor air quality criteria, helping to improve the indoor environments in educational settings. To celebrate the CHPS introduction in Texas, GREENGUARD was proud to attend and sponsor the CHPS-led introduction seminars in Dallas, Austin, San Antonio and Houston in December. During these discussions, design professionals and school district administrators were introduced to the new TX-CHPS Criteria, and they viewed local CHPS Designed and CHPS Verified schools across the state. 

Georgia Pacific and Thermaflex, both providers of GREENGUARD Children and Schools Certified products, were also present at each seminar as contributing sponsors.

New Specifications

The Nuts and Bolts of GREENGUARD: Why It's Important for New Specifications
Most readers of this newsletter use GREENGUARD Certified products and materials to create healthier indoor environments. However, relatively few users know the true rigor and stringent requirements behind GREENGUARD Certification.

Discussions about certification programs focus almost solely on the organizational characteristics ― such as third-party status, industry independence and transparency ― all of which GREENGUARD Certification embraces. However, while such organizational characteristics are critical to the credibility of a certification program, they are less than sufficient to evaluate a program’s true validity, especially when dealing with human health.

The three key parameters for product emissions certifications are emissions criteria, sample selection and testing requirements. All these factors help determine if a certification is valid or if it is merely a label with little significance for actual indoor air quality performance.


GREENGUARD and 2009 & 2010 Standards
In 2009, the Sustainable Building movement became the way of doing business by government entities, corporations, universities, associations and organizations around the globe. One of GREENGUARD’s primary initiatives is to ensure that the sustainable movement includes human health aspects. Some key results of these initiatives in 2009 are:

  1. Green StarTM Environmental Rating System for Buildings (Australia) recognizes GREENGUARD Certified products in a number of different credits and programs

  2. National Association of Home Builders’ (NAHB) National Green Building Standard (ICC 700-2008) recognizes GREENGUARD Children & Schools Certification in  their product emission credits

  3. GREENGUARD Certifications were once again recognized throughout LEED version 3 for multiple IEQ Credits

The GREENGUARD Environmental Institute also participated as a voting member, work group member or public commenter on numerous standards, codes and guidelines.

We expect 2010 to see even more adoption of sustainable building standards and practices. ASHRAE 189.1 Standard for the Design of High-Performance Green Buildings Except Low-Rise Residential Buildings as well as Green Globes should be released as sustainable building standards at the beginning of the year. The development of the International Green Construction Code will continue to progress throughout the year, and the important work of ASTM E60 Sustainability Committee will be evident in 2010. Finally, there are numerous sustainable product standard committees, where GREENGUARD will serve to ensure human health continues to be a pillar of the sustainability movement.  

The 6th Annual GREENGUARD Pub Night a Success at Greenbuild

GREENGUARD’s annual Pub Night continues to be a fun-filled, high-energy event.  Manufacturers, architects, designers, contractors and media come together to network, share ideas and celebrate the success of the GREENGUARD certified products.

At Greenbuild 2009 in Phoenix, more than 400 attended Pub Night at Coach & Willie’s ― and an even bigger event is planned for 2010. Stay tuned as we build momentum for our 7th annual Pub Night, scheduled to coincide with Greenbuild in November 2010.

GEI is especially grateful to the following manufacturers, who sponsored the GREENGUARD booth at Greenbuild and Pub Night:

Gold Sponsors
American Gypsum
La Farge
Knauf Insulation
Smith Systems
Guardian Fiberglass

Silver Sponsors



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Craig Cochran is the North Metro Regional Manager for Georgia Tech’s Enterprise Innovation Institute. He earned his MBA from the University of Tennessee and a bachelor’s degree in industrial management from the Georgia Institute of Technology. Cochran is a Certified Quality Manager, Certified Quality Engineer, Certified Quality Auditor and Certified HACCP Auditor through the American Society for Quality. He is also an RABQSA certified QMS Lead Auditor. Craig has more than 20 years of industry experience in quality assurance and management.

Cochran consults, writes and speaks extensively on management, improvement, problem solving, customer satisfaction, and quality. He’s the author of four books: ISO 9001 in Plain English; The Continual Improvement Process: From Strategy to the Bottom Line; Customer Satisfaction: Tools, Techniques, and Formulas for Success; and Becoming a Customer Focused Organization, all available from Paton Press (

Ask the Expert
Product Certification: Developing Meaningful Programs
by Craig Cochran

Product certifications have exploded in recent years. Products ranging from pine lumber to children’s toys may all carry different certifications, and the organizations issuing these certifications are as diverse as the products themselves. What is the practical value of these certifications? What are the pitfalls and limitations?

The variety and sophistication of products that are available to the general public has exploded in the last half century. With the increase of product variety and sophistication, consumers have more exposure to information about product attributes, performance properties and potential dangers. Additionally, any risks associated with products that were once unknown or well-concealed are now widely communicated.

Consumers may also be concerned about a product’s energy efficiency, environmental impact or recyclability, to name just a few. In the past, a product simply had to do what it was supposed to do. Expectations of products are much more demanding and complex now. Consumers come to the marketplace armed with a baffling array of concerns and agendas, and producers are left with the challenge of choosing the battles that will lead to reduced risk and long term success. In response to consumer concerns, producers have embraced the use of product certification systems. These systems provide assurance that a product possesses certain qualities about which consumers and stakeholders feel strongly. The challenge for the consumer is to figure out what makes a credible certification. After all, consumers make important product choices that affect their family’s health and welfare, so they need to be informed about certification claims. One certification seal looks just as official as any other; the magic is knowing what lies behind the seal.

The five main elements that comprise a credible product certification program are openness, objectivity, a quality management system, competent personnel and accreditation. Each element is important in its own way and should be considered when gathering information regarding certification labels. The complete article, “Product Certification: Developing Meaningful Programs,” details out each element and provides further information about consumers’ challenges. Click here to read the complete article.

Do you have a question for our team of experts? Email your question to

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Continuing Education

The GREENGUARD Environmental Institute is proud to be a recognized USGBC Education Provider and provides numerous accredited Continuing Education Courses related to indoor air quality principles, including the following:

Making the Grade: Healthy Schools Nurturing Healthy Kids (New!)
Credits: AIA (1LU), IDCEC (0.1 CEU), USGBC

Clearing the Air on Sustainability: Why Good Indoor Air Quality Matters
Credits: AIA (1LU), USGBC

Indoor Air Quality and Healing Environments
Credits: AIA (1LU), IDCEC (0.1 CEU), USGBC

Healthy Indoor Air by Design
Credits: AIA (1LU), IDCEC (0.1 CEU), CSI (1-ECH), USGBC

Building Blocks for Healthy Indoor Air
Credits: AIA (1LU), IDCEC (0.1CEU), USGBC

Design to Prevent the Damaging Effects of Mold
Credits: AIA (1LU), CSI (1-ECH)

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Press Room

The GREENGUARD Environmental Institute serves as a resource for publications and media outlets, providing information on various topics that relate to product emissions and indoor air quality. The following are recent articles and features.

Bright Hub
How to Make Your Office Green with Furniture
Green Home Makeover - 10 Eco Chic Furniture Tips

Furniture World
Suppling Mattresses for Alice Cooper and David Bowie Themed Apartments

Kitchen & Bath Design
Green Product Options, Interest Gaining Ground

Manufacturers' Monthly
Sustainability Seals The Deal On Adhesives

Express Healthcare Management
Sustainable Healthcare By Design

Our Guide To The Best Green Products For Schools

Improve Your Home and Garden
How Homeowners Retrofit With Green Building Products

To read these and past articles, visit the Press Room/Articles under the 'About GEI' tab on the GEI website. Read More...

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Questions or comments?

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