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What does it take to be a reputable eco-friendly cleaning product manufacturer in South Africa?

Let’s cut through the greenwashing, lies, deceit and hype that exists in this market and get down to the nitty gritty of what it really takes to be a reputable and trusted eco-cleaning product manufacturer in South Africa.

While efficacy is the primary attribute of importance to cleaning product users, more and more buyers are demanding other innovative features alongside cleaning effectiveness.

In a recent study by Nielsen, 26 percent of respondents indicated that it was very important that a product be made of all natural ingredients, and another 24 percent said that it was very important that packaging be environmentally friendly/sustainable or even compostable. These results are just an indicator of the fact that demand for green cleaning products is on the rise.

However, amid a rising tide of greenwashing claims, formulators who are pursuing the creation of sustainable cleaning products that boast of superior environmental and safety performance have much to gain by having their products certified by a third party eco certification agency. By earning a third-party ecolabel, companies can demonstrate the credibility of their environmental claims and even reach growing markets that are actively seeking certified products. But does it stop with just an eco-certification?

Unique Exposure Risks

Cleaning products are somewhat unique among other consumer products in that they are released into the environment during normal use through evaporation. The same volatile organic compounds (VOCs) used to achieve cleaning efficacy, are also the ones that can present risk to human health if dermal or inhalation exposure persist. Residual product and its component VOCs are also rinsed down drains and remain on cleaned surfaces as well as application tools like sponges, rags and mops.

These factors mean that formulators should demonstrate that their products pose minimal risk to human health during regular exposure and also that products have a minimal impact on water, where they are disposed of. Cleaning product formulators can work with third party ecolabel providers to identify these risks and pinpoint sustainability programs and claims that examine the broadest possible acceptability for these products.

ISO certification

ISO 14001 is an internationally agreed standard that sets out the requirements for an environmental management system. It helps organizations improve their environmental performance through more efficient use of resources and reduction of waste, gaining a competitive advantage and the trust of stakeholders.


Ecolabels are third-party certifications whereby environmental and health claims are tested and evaluated by a third party and, once validated, result in a product and/or company earning the right to display a mark on their product/s that clearly represents that their product meets a defined environment standard.

Many cleaning product formulators are aggressively pursuing and achieving impressive environmental achievements with internal resources. So why is certification necessary? There are many benefits:

Make your claims credible

  • With a growing prevalence of greenwashing (making false or unverified environmental claims), third-party ecolabels provide clearly defined standards and verification that those standards have been met.

Gain visibility into your operation/supply chain –

  • In many cases, the rigorous evaluation process gives you visibility into your own operations, processes and sourcing that leads to additional changes that save money and/or increase efficiency.

Reach established buyers –

  • Respected ecolabels are recognized and trusted by commercial buyers and consumers alike, giving your products an advantage in the marketplace.

Position your product to help earn LEED/EDGE credits and meet procurement guidelines–

  • The selection of third-party certified products can help building owners and managers earn GBCSA/WELL/LEED/EDGE credits for their green building certification, giving your product an advantage. Ecolabels are often required or recommended by a variety of purchasing programs, and compliant products may have greater market acceptance.

Global GreenTag Certification for Cleaning Products

Global GreenTag’s globally trusted Certification standards are recognised in Australia, New Zealand, Malaysia, South Africa, Africa and SE Asia and elsewhere in over 70 other countries.

Global GreenTag is one of the world’s most robust, trusted and widely recognised ecolabels. It independently assures that every product is fitness tested and certified under one of their two leading certification programs that use world’s best scientific methods. That’s why they have earned the reputation and trust of thousands of buyers, hundreds of companies and numerous green building councils, certification bodies and governments around the world.

Genuine products need genuine recognition.

Greenwash has ruled in the eco market. Any brand can claim to be an environmental saviour with a few ‘natural’ ingredients and some sharp marketing. Buyers don’t know who to trust. Consequently, fake products in green packaging will take sales away from genuinely deserving brands. The planet continues to be exploited in the name of inauthentic green design. Everyone suffers.

Global GreenTag was created as a third-party product assessment tool to cut through the greenwash and empower professionals and consumers alike to confidently choose products that have been made in the most planet-friendly way possible. GreenTag takes the doubt out of buying. And because buyers know they can trust the label, genuine green products earn the greatest reward of all: trust.

Manufacturers and suppliers are able to build trust with GreenTag because the assessment system that it adheres to requires full disclosure of every product ingredient and process. The GreenTag Product Certification process is created from the most independently certified standards for compliant certification in the market.

How Global GreenTag is compliant and why do other local South African eco-label organisations not have the same vetting tools?

Global GreenTag is – Externally certified to ISO 9001 for Quality Management and externally verified as compliant to:

  •  14024 for Type 1 (Third Party) Eco-labels and
  • ISO 17065 for Conformance Assessment Bodies
  • Certification is compliant to ISO 14040 & ISO 14044 for LCA
  • ISO 14067 for Greenhouse Gas calculation
  • ISO 14025 for Environmental Product Declarations and
  • ISO 21930 and EN 15804 EPDs

Global GreenTag is also approved by the Australian Competition and Consumer Commission (ACCC) and is registered as an Approved Certification Mark in the USA and Canada and by the South African Trade Marks & Patents Office. In a South African context, the question that needs to be asked is: Why do other eco label organisations not do this – and how can you, as a consumer or a buyer, really know that the product you are purchasing and claims to be eco label accredited, is the real thing and that no shortcuts were taken?  Knowing that the majority of products on the market are not vetted by certified by ISO accreditation agencies can they really be trusted as a bona fide accreditation third party certification agency?

Green Worx Cleaning Solutions is South Africa’s foremost eco accredited bio-technology Company and most award winning sustainability product manufacturer in Africa.

All Green Worx products are certified by –

  • Global GreenTag – an international 3rd party and independent product certification agency.
  • Green Worx is the only bio-tech company in Africa that is ISO14001 accredited.
  • Green Worx is accredited with several SABS 1828 (food safety) certification for our enzyme cleaners that breaks down Biofilm.
  • Green Worx is a member of the Green Building Council of South Africa
  • Green Worx is accredited with the “EDGE” Green Star for cleaning products a vehicle endorsed by the GBCSA.
  • Green Worx is the proud producer of the only CE mark – Enzyme based Surgical Instrument Pre Cleaner in Africa.
  • All Green Worx products are Halal certified
  • Green Worx is accredited by Beauty Without Cruelty (products not tested on animals)
  • Green Worx’s entire product portfolio is approved by Vegan SA South Africa’s leading vegan entity.
  • Green Worx have been awarded 17 international and local eco / sustainability / best cleaning products since 2015

Why would you want to purchase your green cleaning products elsewhere?