• Why is accredited certification an important tool?

Companies often invest more time and money trying to pass a green image of their products than practicing true and effective good environmental actions. With that end, we witness certification of products with labels that often claim to connect these products to nature without actually being environmentally friendly, such as can be the image of a forest on a bottle containing harmful chemicals.

Certification can be, however, a quick and efficient way to decipher the environmental quality, since given by an accredited certification, that evaluates a good resource management, from manufacturing to distribution, through the process that the companies themselves implement.
The PCS distinguishes several certifications that can be applied in Portugal and are duly accredited by credible certification systems.


• What is “Greenwashing”?

Greenwashing is when an entity or organization consumes time and money in marketing actions to relate itself to good environmental practices instead of execute, in reality, business practices that minimize negative environmental impacts. It’s like bleaching facts with a green brush, reason why it’s called Greenwashing.


The most classic example is the company that sells fossil energy and claims, in their advertising campaigns, to be working and conducting research on renewable energy, though never stop using energy that causes greater negative environmental impacts;

– Or the hotel chain that claims itself to be Green just because they don’t change the bedroom towels on a daily basis, when, in fact, the back office does very little to save water or energy;

Or the bank that consumes power disproportionately in their office buildings but, at some point, announces that will join some ENGO (environmental non-governmental organizations) and plant trees to help in the reduction of CO2 emissions, when in fact there is no control over the green initiative;

Or still that company that assumes itself for their good environmental practices, using recycled materials and facilitating environmental information on the product they sell, while deploys their factory(ies) or megastore(s) in a Natura zone or in an Ecological Reserve.

And many other examples…

• How can I choose environmental friendly materials?

When choosing construction materials it is important to make options for a sollution that balances our environmental and enconomic choices. This way, the best way to attain this goal is to search near the manufacturer/dealer information about the origin of the material(s), impacts associated to its usage and recommendations when the product becomes obsolete – waste. Collecting information can focus, for example in questioning what are the raw materials (if they are renewable or not); what country does it come from (if it has to be displaced from far away); if the processes in its manufacturing use clean technologies; if they have environmental impacts or impact to the public health; the material behaviour (technical form), what to do and what the destination for the material when turned into waste. There exist manufacturers that are more aware and already transmit this information upon the sales. Others have the materials certified, for example some timber. There are other manufacturers that implement environmental criteria in the manufacturing process, such is the case of the adoption of the enterprises environemntal certification system (isso 14001 and EMAS). Any of these options guaranties that during the product manufacturing were considered the environmental aspects and made efforts to minimize them. To help on the choice of ecoproducts consult our datebase of selected ecoproducts taking into consideration the evaluation of their sustainable terms.

• How to evalutate the best environmentaly friendly insulation?

It is fundamental to verify if the material we’re selecting to use as insulation has a good behaviour (technical characteristics). Next there should be evaluated the usage associated impacts, both in terms of environmental impacts, and in terms of impacts for public health. As such, there should be sought a material that has no negative effects for health (such as asbestos, that is considered to be carcinogenic). On the other side, there should always be chosen more environmental friendly materials (that are manufactured using renewable resources, that are produced using cleaner technologies, that are recycled, etc.) such is the case of cork.

• What kind of window frames should I use?

When choosing window frames, we ask many times: what material to use? The fundamental to take into account when choosing the window frames is undoubtly the acoustic ans thermal insulation capacity. This is determining if we want to make an option based on the quality of the solution to use. The materials that are addressed here are wood, aluminum and fiberglass, although there are other alternatives. Nowadays there are some solution on the market that conjugate some of the most commun materials, such as wood frame lined with aluminum on the exterior. Opting for each of these materials has often to do with the aesthetic or economic aspect,  given that each one of these materials have a similar thermal and acoustic performance. There should be always considered the use of double glazzing, with glasses of 6 and 4 mm and an air gap of 12mm. As such we’ll make a breif analysis of the material considering acoustic and thermal insulation: behaviour in relation to thermal and acoustic insulation: both a wood and aluminum with thermal cut and the window frame has similar behaviour; In the case of external window frames exposed to big climatic variations, follows that a better performance is achieved with the innovation of fiberglass window frames.

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