We test companies and products according to the Green Button criteria.

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.

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 wishing to certify their products with the Green Button must comply with 46 demanding social and environmental criteria - including 20 corporate criteria and 26 social and environmental product criteria.

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.

Choose Hohenstein - benefit twice!

Company audit

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.

Product verification

Only products that are eligible to carry a recognized seal may be certified for the Green Button. MADE IN GREEN by OEKO-TEX® is one such credible reference label recognized by the Green Button. Moreover, unlike other labels, MADE IN GREEN covers not only organic cotton, but all fibre types.

As an OEKO-TEX® founding member, we award the MADE IN GREEN by OEKO-TEX® label for textiles that have been tested for harmful substances and produced in an environmentally friendly and socially responsible manner.

Want the Green Button?

Here is what you need to know.

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.

Product examples:

  • Clothing:
    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.

  1. 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.
  2. 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.
  3. 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.
  4. 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
53229 Bonn
GERMANY
Phone: +49 228 688 95-195
E-mail:

 

Please note:
 

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 will publish the contact details of the approved certification bodies such as Hohenstein in good time on its award portal.

During the introductory phase, the seal holder (i.e. BMZ) assumes the costs. These include:

  • Consulting services by the office
  • Initial certification
  • Licensing costs

 

Please note:
 

There is no legal entitlement to admission to the free company audit during the introductory phase.

The seal holder does not bear the costs for the following procedures:

  • Product re-registrations (costs arising from a certificate supplement and, if applicable, auditing of new suppliers). 
  • Surveillance audits from 30.06.2021, which take place after 12 months, and re-certifications, which take place after three years

Companies must bear the costs for these expenses themselves.

No, no license fees are charged.

To receive the Green Button, companies must comply with a total of 46 demanding social and environmental criteria. The special thing about this is that the entire company is audited. Individual showcase products alone are not enough.

PRODUCT CRITERIA
For a T-shirt or bed linen to receive the Green Button, 26 social and environmental criteria must be met - the "product criteria." To this end, the Green Button builds on recognized credible seals - e.g. MADE IN GREEN by OEKO-TEX®.

COMPANY CRITERIA
In addition to the individual products, the company as a whole is also tested. It must demonstrate its human rights, social and environmental responsibility based on a further 20 criteria.

Textile articles are awarded the Green Button if they comply with 26 social and ecological criteria. In doing so, the Green Button builds on seals that are already recognized. With MADE IN GREEN by OEKO-TEX® as one of the recognized reference seals, companies can demonstrate compliance with the social and environmental requirements for the Green Button.

In the introductory phase, the criteria for products initially apply to the production stages "cutting and sewing" (manufacturing of ready-made goods) and "bleaching and dyeing" (wet processes).

However, 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. Among other things, living wages are targeted as a criterion.

Examples of ecological product criteria:

  • Ban on hazardous chemicals
  • Biodegradability of chemicals used
  • Limit values for waste water
  • Less air pollution and CO2 emissions
  • Use of natural fibers tested for harmful substances
  • More sustainable sourcing of man-made fibers

Examples of social product criteria:

  • Prohibition of forced and child labor
  • Prohibition of harassment and discrimination in the workplace
  • Payment of minimum wages
  • Regulated working hours and paid overtime
  • Right to freedom of association and collective bargaining
  • Ensuring occupational health and safety

To be awarded the Green Button, companies must credibly demonstrate their social, human rights and environmental responsibility and reputable business practices based on 20 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 46 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.