Green Button Certification

Green button certification: good for people, good for the environment.

Sustainability is a fundamental trend in the markets of today. Around seventy-five per cent of recently surveyed consumers state that ethical, social and environmental considerations play a major role in their purchases of clothes and other textiles.

Critical consumers now expect that both raw material production and product manufacturing should protect people and the environment wherever they take place in the world.

Socially aware organisations with a focus on sustainability already base their operations on standardised criteria to show that they respect and implement these values, and they also seek certification, for example for the “Green Button” label.

Grüner Knopf Zertifizierung Grüner Knopf Zertifizierung Grüner Knopf Zertifizierung Grüner Knopf Zertifizierung

Benefits of “Green Button” certification

In its current introductory phase, the label covers the most important production stages of “cutting out and sewing” (making up) as well as “bleaching and dyeing” (wet processes). An independent advisory board for the label is also working on optimising overall protection of people and the environment along the entire supply chain.

Following its introductory phase, the certification programme is now focussed on the special characteristics and needs of the textile sector. These include:

  • Fair working conditions
  • Environmentally-friendly production
  • No unnecessary duplication of certification 
  • Extended deadlines for small & medium-sized enterprises
  • Addition of new collections/products within the certified supply chain
  • Simpler proof of compliance with social standards within the EU

Audit procedure for “Green Button” certification

“Green Button” as a basis for decisionmaking

Following completion of its pilot phase, the certificate now meets all the requirements of the European Directive on Public Procurement as well as German procurement law (in particular Art. 44 A Para. 1 RL 2014/24/EU and § 33 VgV – German Ordinance on the Award of Public Contracts). It is therefore a vital decisionmaking factor within the framework of sustainable public procurement.

FAQs on the "Green Button"

What does the Green Button stand for?

The “Green Button” label is used to designate textiles manufactured under environmentally sustainable conditions and is sewn in or attached to the textile product so that it can clearly be seen. The criteria and conditions for the “Green Button” were laid down by the Federal Ministry for Economic Cooperation and Development (BMZ), and an office has also been established at the German cooperation agency Deutsche Gesellschaft für Internationale Zusammenarbeit (GIZ) GmbH.

The German accreditation body (DAkkS) is responsible for ensuring that auditing is consistent and reliable. TÜV NORD CERT, known and respected throughout the world as an international testing and certification organisation, is one of the first in Germany to offer independent and competent auditing for this forward-looking label. The “Green Button” is awarded following successful certification. 

What are the prerequisites for “Green Button” certification?

As the first textile label based on criteria laid down by the German state, the “Green Button” combines requirements for the actual product itself with conditions to be fulfilled by your organisation. A total of 46 criteria are audited.

A product has to meet 26 minimum social and environmental requirements, and it is also possible to testify to this by means of existing recognised labels or preliminary work in textile federations. In addition, your organisation as a whole must demonstrate fulfilment of its duty of care based on a further 20 criteria. These include, for example, QA systems within the framework of the entire supply chain.

The criteria for organisations are based on the UN Guiding Principles on Business and Human Rights (UNGP) and also sector-specific recommendations of the Organisation for Economic Co-operation and Development (OECD). The complete criteria list can be found here.

Recognised label

Trusted labels can testify to the fulfilment of the social and ecological product criteria of Green Button. An overview of the labels recognised by Green Button can be seen here.

Which organisations can make best use of “Green Button” certification?

The “Green Button” addresses all companies that manufacture and/or sell textiles. This includes both manufacturers of these goods and retailers who sell products manufactured by third parties under their own brand names. All textiles are covered, in particular clothing, textile fashion accessories, textile toys, backpacks, materials, household textiles and mattresses and bedding. More details can be found in the Goods and Services List.

Financial support from the Federal Ministry for Economic Cooperation and Development (BMZ)

The Federal Ministry for Economic Cooperation and Development (BMZ) provides financial support (in the initial phase) as follows:

  • Consultancy services of Green Button
  • Initial certification
  • Licensing costs

Costs which are currently NOT covered by the Ministry:

  • Certification/registration of subsequent products (costs arising from additions to the certificate and possible assessment of new suppliers) 
  • As from 30.06.2021: Surveillance audits, which are performed after 12 months, and also recertifications after three years 

We are looking forward to your inquiry