Western Cape Business News

Send  Share  RSS  Twitter  09 Feb 2010

BUILDING: New Environmental Accreditation Agency


Recent Western Cape Business News

A new "green" verification and rating assessment process for manufacturers, product suppliers, contractors and subcontractors serving the building industry is being launched this month in Cape Town - with the aim of becoming recognised and used throughout South Africa.

Rayne Neave, who founded the Building Centre, from where she works, has used the knowledge and experience of a number of experts in the field of sustainability to set up the first South African assessment criteria to legitimise and verify sustainable environment claims in the sectors listed above. 

"I have always been passionate about environmental awareness and the promotion of green products and practices.  What encouraged me to go ahead with developing an assessment tool was firstly, that there is in SA as yet no foolproof accreditation process to prove that a building product or company is complying with recognised and accepted international standards – and secondly, that many of the major players have confirmed that they do want to adopt and work by these standards."

Neave has on her team the SA architect, Keith Struthers, who has been promoting green building concepts for 25 years and the consulting engineers and environmental scientists, Jeffares and Green, who are ISO 9001 certified.

The assessment model, says Neave, is in accordance with ISO 14024 (the SA national standard for environmental labels and declarations, principles and procedures).  It, therefore, meets international standards.

All assessments, says Neave, are third party verified and independently audited by Jeffares and Green.

"There are four main categories under which an candidate can label his application.  These are all rated between one and six stars.

The categories are:

  1. Eco Product – for products and building materials:

  2. Eco Ethic – for good environmental practice for companies and services;

  3. Eco Contractors – for contractors or subcontractors who comply with Eco Exhibit’s recommended Environmental Management Plan (EMP);

  4. Eco Excellence – which is issued to applicants who have completed an environmental footprint assessment.

"Qualifying for this last category," said Neave, "will be those firms which take their environmental measures to a higher level."

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