OVER the last few decades, eco-labelling has been a driving force for innovation within the construction industry. New ways to build with minimal environmental impact are becoming increasingly sought after, as governments across the globe aim for a net-zero economy.
According to the 2020 Global Status Report for Buildings and Constructions, the sector accounted for 38% of total global energy-related carbon dioxide emissions in 2019. Concrete, a common and popular construction material, is responsible for 9% of total greenhouse gas emissions, according to the Organisation for Economic Co-operation and Development (OECD).
Globally, the demand for green buildings is also on the rise. This has increased the value of eco-labelling in the construction industry, as businesses and organisations are looking to showcase their commitment to sustainability.
A reputation that matters
In Malaysia, there’s only one organisation from which you can count on to obtain eco-label certifications, SIRIM QAS. This is due to its compelling advantages.
For starters, SIRIM QAS has been in the business of providing independent assurance for construction and building materials for over four decades. What this translates to is a wealth of experience providing testing, inspection and certification services.
Secondly, eco-labels issued by SIRIM QAS are backed by a rigorous evaluation model developed through consultation with industry players and stakeholders and referenced from similar international standards.
“SIRIM QAS will evaluate products based on its impact on the environment throughout its lifecycle. Those that comply with all the necessary requirements will be awarded with the SIRIM Eco-label mark,” explains Kamarul Arieffin Rosli, a senior auditor at SIRIM QAS.
Last but not least, SIRIM QAS is accredited by the Department of Standards Malaysia according to ISO/IEC 17025 and ISO 17065. This, in addition to being a member of the Global Eco-Labelling Network (GEN), increases the credibility of its certifications in Malaysia and internationally.
At present, SIRIM QAS offers two types of eco-labelling certifications for construction: ECO 033 aimed at concrete products used for architectural, building and engineering applications, and ECO 065 for ready-mix concrete for engineering and civil engineering applications.
Greater market access
Today, sustainability credentials are a condition for doing business. Every organisation wants to be seen doing business with sustainable partners and customers want to be aligned with environmentally-conscious brands.
“Eco-label certification not only guarantees that the products in question meet environmental criteria by making them more appealing to customers, they also open up a wide range of business opportunities,” added Mohd Faizal Mohd Alwi, a principal auditor at SIRIM QAS.
For instance, the SIRIM QAS Eco-label certification is a prerequisite for the Government Green Procurement (GGP) programme by the Government. GGP ensures that products and services procured by the government take into account environmental impacts.
In 2017, GGP was expanded to all government agencies with a requirement for each ministry to incorporate green specifications within select product groups such as fibre cement and masonry products.
Therefore, businesses and organisations within the construction industry looking to amplify their market reach should consider SIRIM QAS Eco-label certification.