How Important is Green Product Certification to Your Customers?

Nicole Harris
February 12, 2013

The meeting topic could well have been named, “why a window is not a stove.” The topic, life cycle assessment (LCA), was an important discussion at last week’s Insulating Glass Manufacturers Alliance Annual Conference in New Orleans.

No doubt stove manufacturers face unique challenges determining the energy/carbon footprint of what they produce, but our industry has to contend with multiple factors, including occupants, climate, location and building type. Several industry associations are working together to develop the product category rules necessary for determining life cycle and are still months away from finishing. In the meantime, we’re wondering how you address consumer-awareness issues like climate change and fossil fuel depletion, to name two environmental footprint factors associated with LCA. Have you been asked to show your product’s carbon footprint? Do you promote any “green” certifications now? Do you expect to increase this marketing angle on future products?

Post a comment or email me to share your thoughts.

Survey Results as of 02/19/2013 :

How Important is Green Product Certification to Your Customers?

It does not seem to matter to them










Very important







The author is publisher of Window & Door and Glass Magazine and vice president of publications for the National Glass Association. Write her at

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Human nature: consumers vote with their pocketbooks. Besides, the so-called end-of-the-world dire predictions have grown old and tiresome to most people. Lastly, we are to be responsible stewards of our environment. Education on the financial benefits of using more energy efficient products is the key to successfully selling more efficient and more costly products.

Guess it will take another generation or two when much deeper declines in climate change and fossil fuel depletion are so obviously affecting people's quality of life. Plus, it'll have to be combined with affordability - for supplier and buyer. We'll get there, we'll have to.

Most of the "multiple factors" listed do not apply to Life Cycle Assessment which according to wikipedia: "requires the assessment of raw-material production, manufacture, distribution, use and disposal" (

I think it would be unlikely for a home owner to request information on a product's 'carbon footprint' when buying a window today. For projects that require environmental certifications (such as LEED), there will probably be options in the future for credit for products that can provide LCA information. There are some manufacturers that already have this information available.

The poll results are interesting. I have no idea how many have responded, but it appears that an overwhelming majority believe that green building is not as important as we are led to believe.

I guess it's like the office vending machine. Everyone asks for more healthy choice offerings. Yet, the sale of salty chips and candy bars excels while nut bars and the like go bad.

Green buidling is important, but at what cost? I imagine it would be more favorably received if the cost weren't so prohibitive. after all, who wouldn't want to help save the environment and build more cheaply.