With the 2.0 edition, the state Green Button seal tightens its requirements. These will apply bindingly to all certifications from August 2023:
- The criteria for corporate due diligence have been made stricter and expanded. Companies must, for example, push for the payment of living wages and extend the risk analysis to the entire supply chain.
- The product- and production-related requirements were expanded to include the area of sustainable raw material extraction. In future, labelled products may only consist of approved fibres and materials.
MADE IN GREEN is recognised within the framework of the Green Button 2.0 as proof of sustainable products and production processes. In detail, this applies to the following requirement levels:
- Making-up of ready-made goods ✔
- Wet processes ✔
- Approved fibres / materials (virgin polyester) ✔
- The Green Button 2.0 now recognises STANDARD 100 as proof of the use of approved fibres and materials (Virgin Polyester).
As a certification body approved by the German Federal Ministry for Economic Cooperation and Development (BMZ), Hohenstein is authorized to test companies and products for compliance with the criteria for awarding the Green Button textile seal.
Hohenstein has many years of global expertise in auditing companies along the entire textile chain as well as product testing in accordance with international certifications, labels and initiatives for sustainability.
As an approved certification body, we verify compliance with the Green Button corporate criteria.
Only products that are entitled to bear a recognised seal may be certified for the Green Button. In the 2.0 edition of the Green Button, two OEKO-TEX® product labels are recognised as credible reference seals. As an OEKO-TEX® founding member, Hohenstein issues both labels:
The Green Button is a state seal for sustainably produced textiles. It sets binding requirements to protect people and the environment in the production process of textiles. What is special about the Green Button is that, in addition to the product, the company as a whole is always inspected.
Companies that want to certify their products with the Green Button must comply with demanding requirements for corporate due diligence processes as well as additional requirements for products and production.
The state sets the criteria and conditions for the Green Button. Independent testing bodies such as Hohenstein, which are approved and trained by the BMZ, monitor compliance with the criteria.
The seal holder is the German Federal Ministry for Economic Cooperation and Development (BMZ). The seal owner sets the criteria and conditions for the Green Button. An office is set up at the Deutsche Gesellschaft für Internationale Zusammenarbeit (GIZ) GmbH.
Independent certification bodies such as Hohenstein monitor compliance with the criteria. If certification is successful, the Green Button seal is awarded on behalf of the BMZ.
The Green Button is aimed at all companies that manufacture and / or distribute textile goods. This includes both manufacturers of such goods, as well as trading companies that sell third-party products as their own brands.
However, it does not cover companies that distribute third-party products without themselves acting as product managers.
The seal is awarded for all textile products. However, articles that are (partly) made of leather as well as toys and fabrics are excluded.
Summary - Certifiable Product Categories
Women's wear, men's wear, children's wear, daywear and nightwear, sportswear and functional clothing, outdoor textiles, socks and stockings, etc.
- Home and household textiles:
Bed linen, bedding, towelling, table linen and kitchen textiles, curtains, decorative materials and furniture upholstery fabrics, floor coverings, etc.
- Technical textiles:
Personal protective equipment and workwear, medical and hygiene articles, textile materials for vehicle interiors, geo-, agricultural and environmental textiles, construction materials and insulation materials, etc.
- Textile accessories:
Headwear, scarves, shawls, gloves, bags, backpacks, etc.
There is a four-stage procedure for Green Button certification. Participation in the subsequent stage requires successful completion of the previous stage.
- Information and application | Awarding body
Your company submits an application to the awarding office. The awarding office provides you with information documents and answers your questions about the certification process. Your company then submits an application for certification. This is checked by the awarding office for eligibility to apply.
- Consultation | Office
After your application has been positively reviewed, a non-binding and confidential consultation meeting is held by the Green Button office. This serves to prepare the audit by an independent certification body. The focus of the discussion is on the company-related requirements and the product-related social and environmental criteria. As a basis for the discussion, your company must complete and submit a self-assessment in advance.
- Certification audit | Certification body (Hohenstein)
Following the consultation, your company makes an appointment for an audit with Hohenstein, the certification body approved for the Green Button. You conclude a contract with Hohenstein to carry out the audit. Our experts check the fulfillment of all company-related requirements as well as the fulfillment of the product criteria during an audit at your company. If the audit is successful, we issue a certificate for you.
- Licensing | Awarding body
After receiving the certification certificate, your company concludes a licensing agreement with the awarding body. During the term of the license agreement (3 years), it entitles your company to label the audited products with the Green Button. Your company can find details on labeling and advertising in the Green Button Logo Manual.
Any company can contact the Green Button Awarding Body for advice.
CONTACT FORM OF THE AWARDING BODY
APPLICATION FORM OF THE AWARDING BODY
Vergabestelle Grüner Knopf
RAL gemeinnützige GmbH
(Green Button Awarding Body)
Fränkische Straße 7
Phone: +49 228 688 95-195
Within the Open House procedure for certification bodies, the Green Button office will no longer assign interested companies to certification bodies as of 01.03.2021.
As a company, you must independently select a certification body such as Hohenstein from this date and contact us directly.
For this purpose, the Green Button Office publishes the contact details of the approved certification bodies such as Hohenstein on its award portal.
No, no license fees are charged.
To receive the Green Button, companies must comply with demanding social and environmental criteria. The special thing about this is that the entire company is audited. Individual showcase products alone are not enough.
For a T-shirt or bed linen to receive the Green Button, social and ecological criteria must be met - the "product criteria". For this purpose, the Green Button builds on recognised credible seals - e.g. OEKO-TEX® MADE IN GREEN or OEKO-TEX® STANDARD 100.
In addition to the individual products, the company as a whole is also audited. It must demonstrate its human rights, social and environmental responsibility using the required criteria for corporate due diligence.
Textile articles are awarded the Green Button label if they are made of approved fibres and materials and if environmental requirements are met during production with regard to wet processes such as bleaching and dyeing, as well as social working conditions during ready-made clothing (cutting and sewing).
In doing so, the Green Button builds on already recognised seals. With OEKO-TEX® MADE IN GREEN, companies can demonstrate compliance with social and ecological requirements. In addition, OEKO-TEX® MADE IN GREEN and the OEKO-TEX® STANDARD 100 are recognised as proof that certified products are made of approved fibres and materials.
The aim of the Green Button is the consistent further development of the required criteria with the help of an independent advisory board as well as the extension of the requirements to all production stages of the textile chain.
Examples of ecological product criteria:
- Ban on hazardous chemicals
- Biodegradability of chemicals used
- Limit values for waste water
- Less air pollution and CO2 emissions
- Resource-saving use of water, energy and raw materials
- Reduction of waste
Examples of social product criteria:
- Prohibition of forced and child labour
- Regulated working hours and paid overtime
- Prohibition of harassment and discrimination in the workplace
- Right to freedom of association and collective bargaining
- Ensuring occupational health and safety
Examples in the area of raw material extraction or fibre and material use:
- Ban on genetically modified cotton
- Use of fibres from sustainable forestry
- Compliance with animal welfare requirements
- Undercutting of pollutant limits
- Increased use of recycled fibres
To be awarded the Green Button, companies must credibly demonstrate their social, human rights and environmental responsibility as well as serious business practices on the basis of defined criteria.
The evaluation of the companies is based on five core areas:
- Alignment of company policy on human rights and environmental protection
- Analysis of risks and impacts within the supply chain
- Implementation of effective measures
- Transparent reporting to the public
- Consideration of complaints
To ensure an appropriate assessment of whether the company and product criteria are met, we as the certification body conduct an audit on site at your company.
After the initial audit, we, as the appointed certification body, conduct a renewed surveillance audit at your company every year during the three-year term of the certificate. After three years, a new audit is carried out as part of the re-certification process, and so on.