Floor Coverings (FCv3.0-2021)

  • Status:
  • Issue Date:
    July 10, 2021
  • Green Star Applicable
    Green Star is Australia's trusted mark of quality for the design, construction and operation of sustainable buildings, fitouts and communities. Choosing Green Star can help you save money, create a healthy place for people, minimise your environmental footprint and build a better future for us all.

Floor coverings are an essential addition to any building. They have the potential to provide both aesthetic and functional benefits. However, like any other product, floor coverings can have a range of environmental and health impacts.

These impacts occur across the product’s entire lifecycle. The environmental impact of floor covering products primarily comes from the different types of raw materials used, products used for surface treatment and glue, and the energy used during manufacturing. In addition, impacts can occur during use and maintenance and when the floor covering reaches the end of its useful life.

For example, unsustainable practices in the extraction of raw materials can result in a wide range of environmental issues, such as threatening biodiversity in adjacent areas, erosion in coastal areas and riverbanks, or pollution of waterways.

It is also essential that materials and ingredients hazardous to both people and the planet are not added to the final product or used in its creation. For instance, some floor coverings can be treated with fungicides or insecticides that contain carcinogenic substances. Toxic heavy metals and their compounds such as mercury, arsenic, selenium, cobalt, tin and antimony are also detrimental to the health of manufacturing staff and users of the finished product.

Volatile organic compounds (VOCs) can also be a significant issue for the adhesives and finishes used in flooring. VOCs can trigger a range of health problems such as respiratory irritation, allergies, headaches and asthma. Formaldehyde, a known human carcinogen, is a particularly common VOC found in adhesives and resins, despite its toxicity to humans

GECA certification removes doubt and confusion and makes identifying environmentally and socially preferable products easier. Products certified under this standard can also contribute toward achieving credit points for projects being certified under the Green Building Council of Australia’s Green Star Performance tool. In addition, our standard also contributes to meeting WELL features under the WELL Building Certification and is also recognised by the ISC IS rating scheme.

The standard sets requirements that aim to provide a benefit by:

• reducing the impacts from raw material sourcing, including avoiding the illegal harvest of wood and fibre

• limiting emissions of volatile organic compounds (VOCs)

• reducing the use and subsequent release of environmentally harmful substances to the environment at all stages of the product’s lifecycle

• encouraging recovery, reuse, recycling and responsible disposal of product and packaging, including ensuring the product is not treated in a manner that would prevent post-consumer recycling

• preventing the use of specific hazardous materials and heavy metals such as known carcinogens and mutagens

• ensuring workers and suppliers through the supply chain can expect fair pay, equal opportunity, and a safe working environment

This standard applies to a range of floor coverings and carpet underlays that are laid on top of a foundation of concrete or wooden beams and are not part of the building structure:

• Parquet
• Wooden planks
• Engineered wood products, e.g. laminate
• Linoleum
• Bamboo
• Cork
• Rubber
• PET (terephthalate) Plastics
• Bio-based Plastics

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Certified Products by Floor Coverings (FCv3.0-2021)

Images Name Green Star
Green Star is Australia's trusted mark of quality for the design, construction and operation of sustainable buildings, fitouts and communities. Choosing Green Star can help you save money, create a healthy place for people, minimise your environmental footprint and build a better future for us all.
Aura Sports
Forbo Flooring Systems
Spectrum Floors

Learn more about the benefits of environmental certification for your products by reading our case studies

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What our clients say about us

Clients say it’s GECA or nothing. If you don’t have GECA certification it’s a negative. GECA certification is a priority for Haworth.

John Stamoulos

GECA is seen by major clients across Australia and internationally to be a credible organisation that provides certification to forward thinking companies that seek to maintain and further environmental standards. Envirofluid is glad to be associated with the GECA label”.

Lydia Ohlmeyer, Marketing and Operations Manager

Being an environmentally aware business, we needed a way to ensure, adhere and implement sustainably preferable strategies into our business plan. The team at GECA is co-operative and their guidance ensured that we not only complied with green standards, but exceeded them. The process is credible and well-received in the market place and ensures that we are set apart from the not-so-genuine ‘greenwashing’ companies.

Donna McMullen, Director 

Having GECA certification gives added credibility to our already strong Europlank brand. The GECA ecolabel confirms that Havwoods Europlank has been rigorously assessed for its impact over its life cycle and it is safer for our clients, their families and colleagues. When you choose Havwoods GECA certified Europlank you can have confidence in the environmental and health claims of this product range.

David Hickson, General Manager

GBCA Green Star projects are a fantastic way of promoting environmentally aware developments that benefit all parties involved. Jardan is committed to the advertisement of eco-labelling as a means of encouraging sustainable practice,

Andy Collins, Design Assistant

To discuss getting your product GECA certified, get in touch with us now.

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