Frequently Asked Questions

Do I need to be environmentally certified to advertise with Cool Change?
Yes, Cool Change only accepts advertisers who have gained independent environmental certification or have been reviewed and approved by our certification advisory partner “Good Environmental Choice Australia (GECA)

What is GECA Environmental Certification?Good Environmental Choice Australia is an independent certification authority that evaluates products and services “whole of life” impact on the environment. Whole of life includes how a product is manufactured, how it is used during its life and how it is disposed of or recycled after its useful life is over.

What are the benefits of a product with the “Good Environmental Choice Australia Label?
Products or services that are awarded the Good Environmental Choice Australia label have been deemed to be Environmentally Preferable within the category of their operation. They meet or exceed the best international standard (ISO 14024) for environmental performance.

Is Cool Change certified by GECA?
Cool Change has been audited by GECA and has been awarded Environmental certification as an Environmentally preferable workplace.

Is Cool Change a Carbon Trading Company?
No. Cool Change does not buy or trade in Carbon trading schemes for it’s clients. We focus on promoting products and services which have demonstrated a commitment to reduce their environmental footprint through better design and manufacturing processes rather than simply offsetting carbon emissions only.

What is the relationship between Cool Change and GECA?
Cool Change and Good Environmental Choice Australia (GECA) have no financial shareholding interest between the respective companies. In 2007 Cool Change and GECA formed an agreement to mutually encourage manufacturers and companies to gain credible independent environmental certification.

Where is the value in being certified by GECA?
GECA certification is recognised as the highest Environmental standard in a wide range of product categories.
For instance, GECA is well known in the building products industry because GECA is the recognised standard for assessing products in the construction industry and is endorsed by the Green Building Council.

GECA is the National Ecolabelling body in Australia and is the only certification system that is available across the wide range of product categories. It is important for manufacturers and service suppliers to find out if their product meets the high standards set by GECA.
GECA is also increasingly being called for where it matters, in tender specifications for government procurement and construction.

Are there international certification systems that will be recognised by Cool Change or GECA?
GECA has established agreements with the Ecolabelling authorities in other countries so that their certification can be recognised in Australia and so that Australian products that are certified by GECA can be recognised in other countries. This serves to support Australian exports in environmentally preferable products.

I know of companies that say they are accredited to the ISO Environmental Standard but are not certified by GECA. What is the difference between ISO 14001 and GECA?
Many organisations are accredited to the ISO standard 14001. This is a standard for organisations rather than products and it serves to assess the organisations environmental management systems as opposed to the actual environmental performance of products and services the organisation delivers. GECA assesses the environmental impact of products and certifies those that are shown to be environmentally preferable in their product category.

Environmental impacts are many across a product life cycle. Only GECA offers an international product certification that is comprehensive and across this life cycle. That is why is it the premier brand for environmental products and services. GECA is compliant to the ISO 14 020 series in the same family of standards, but specifically designed for product and service environmental evaluation.

What does it cost to have a product certified by GECA?
The cost varies by product. It is best that a manufacturer contact GECA to find out what it might cost to have a product assessed.
The first step is a $400.00 application which gives you: a) a preliminary report explaining if you are likely to be found in compliance to the standards and what other information is required, b) a fixed price for the verification which will depend on factories, product complexity and level of information you already have available. Most verifications are between $4K and $9K for consumer and building products.

Is GECA run by the Government - what is the relationship between Australian Governments and GECA?
GECA is a not for profit, membership based organisation. It is recognised by many government authorities but is independent of government and industry. We think this is a good thing because it ensures that GECA is fully independent? It is however supported widely by each of these groups.

There many other ecolabelling organisations in Australia. What makes GECA different?
When Cool Changed investigated this situation it found that there are many organisations that call themselves ecolabelling organisations but only GECA offers a national program that covers a wide range of industries and product categories. We found that other so called ecolabelling organisations are either focused on one particular environmental consideration or just one industry. We wanted to work with the recognised national ecolabelling body.

We also noticed that there are a number of organisations that offer information about the environmental impact of a product or service but don't actually measure the impact of the product. They are important as a source of information but they are not certification authorities. It is really important to distinguish between information providers and certification authorities.