Climate change and scarcity of resources require a significant increase in society's awareness of the need to act in a more sustainable manner. In industry, sustainable certificates are used for this purpose, with the aim of strengthening the sense of environmental responsibility and fostering more efficient use of available resources. Especially in CO2-intensive industries such as the construction and building sector as well as in transportation, there are accredited certificates that define and certify standards for sustainable action.
Sustainability certifications for buildings
The key concept of sustainability certifications in the construction and building sector reaches over the entire life cycle of so-called green buildings, characterized by a high-quality ecological construction and high resource efficiency in the areas of energy, water and materials. In addition to ecological aspects, sustainable certification systems also evaluate several economic and socio-cultural criteria. This ensure a holistic assessment of the sustainability of green buildings throughout their entire life cycle.
There are various internationally recognized certification systems which differ in terms of the criteria assessed as well as their weighting and are based on country-specific standards and regulations. The most well-known are the British certification system BREEAM (Research Establishment Environmental Assessment Method), the U.S. LEED (Leadership in Energy and Environmental Design), and the German DGNB (Deutsche Gesellschaft für Nachhaltiges Bauen).
Sustainability certifications for transportation
In the transportation sector, companies can also have their processes certified regarding environmental sustainability. Internationally recognized certifications include ISO 14001 and the European regulation EMAS (Eco-Management and Audit Scheme). The aim of this cross-industry certifications is to achieve a long-term and continuous improvement in operational environmental performance within the framework of an environmental management system. Areas of action in transportation include paperless handling, transport bundling, route optimization, avoidance of empty runs and the use of efficient engines.
Compensate higher set-up costs with lower operational costs
Profit from tax incentives and subsidies for certified buildings
Reduce CO2 footprint and improve energy efficiency
Increase market value of certified buildings
Increase visibility and attractiveness for business partners and customers