Sri Lanka, like other countries around the world, is facing an immense challenge, to create sustainable buildings for the future. Building construction materials play a major role in converting construction industry into sustainable greener one. Each and every countries in the world more or less have its unique conditions with different resource availability. It emphasised the need of developing GREEN SL®Labelling System, which adapt to Sri Lankan conditions while having a global recognition.
Green Labels which are also called Eco labels are affixed to products that pass eco-friendly criteria laid down by government, association or certification bodies. The GREENSL® Labeling System(GLS®) of Sri Lanka was initiated by the Lanka Institute of Eco labeling (LIOE) set up by a group of professionals engaged in environmental conservation and entrepreneurship with the inputs, encouragements and technical assistance from the Global Eco labeling Network (GEN).
The ultimate objective of these certifications is to ensure the creditability of use of proper products/materials with green features in construction industry, to promote the local manufacturing of green products/materials, to build increased awareness of benefits of green products/materials and to encourage the governmental authorities to grant concessions to green product manufacturers and importers. The main goal of developing the GREENSL® LABELLING is to promote the standards of local strategies of a greener sustainable environment, while the conventional goal is to ensure that the products/ materials have a minimal detrimental impact to the environment compared to the products serving the same function.
Whilst the GLS is an ISO type I Green labeling System, it involves third party certification. The GLS encompasses multiple environmentally acceptable criteria across a product life cycle of sustainable materials/ products, hence to grant the certification. In the process of establishing environmentally preferable criterion for the product standards, the relevant international standards were drawn and benchmarked with well-developed green labels to ensure the creditability. The GLS encourages the manufacturers, suppliers and distributors of sustainable building materials and products, whilst implementing sustainable practices to minimize the detrimental impact due to their practices and activities. Green Label certified materials/ products possess competitive advantages and are easily marketable and readily preferred accepted by consumers.
With the industrial revolution, various activities of built environment are believed to have gradual yet accelerating impacts inimical to the environment. Within the scope of environmental damage they include conventional damages and sometimes disruption of lives of dwellers of damaged environment. Thereby the environmental consciousness of communities appeared to be increased. Hence the Green Labeling System became one of the main roles driving the world to be greener. Thus the Green Labels focus on certain environmental aspects such as energy consumption, water use, timber source etc.; ecological well-being and quality of the environment can be maintained with minimal damage possible, which in turn helps in long term environmental conservation. According to Global Eco Labeling Network (GEN), there are three common objectives of GLS.
Embracing the GLS may lead Sri Lanka to adopt a sustainable practice of use of materials or products based on the environmental consequences of their raw material acquisition, manufacturing, product usage and disposal.
Green Labeling System(GLS®) is well recognized locally through the endorsement of Central Environment Authority and Globally through GBCSL membership of World Green Building Council (WGBC) which there are over 80 countries and more than 200 environment protecting organizations have obtained the membership.
The GREENSL® Labelling System of Green Building Council Sri Lanka (GBCSL) offers the valuable opportunity to the environmentally responsible product manufactures to brand their product under the GBCSL umbrella, which will give them a competitive advantage among traditional products. It is a voluntary scheme where the manufactures and designers can achieve recognition for their valuable interest to producing greener products.