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The GREENGUARD Environmental Institute is an industry-independent, non-profit organization that oversees the GREENGUARD Certification Program. As an ANSI Accredited Standards Developer, GEI establishes acceptable indoor air standards for indoor products, environments, and buildings. GEI’s mission is to improve public health and quality of life through programs that improve indoor air. A GEI Advisory Board consisting of independent volunteers, who are renowned experts in the areas of indoor air quality, public and environmental health, building design and construction, and public policy, provides guidance and leadership to GEI.
GREENGUARD was founded in 2001 as a “true third-party product certification program” founded by Marilyn Black, Ph.D. and Air Quality Sciences Inc. The certification program is based on experimentally verified data that provides both consumers and professionals with information about low emission products. Air Quality Sciences Inc. preceded GREENGUARD with its AQSpec list program that showed which companies and products had been tested and demonstrated to fulfill state emission regulations and office furniture emission standards set by the EPA.
GEI Certification Programs Edit
GEI has three certification programs that include, indoor air quality certification for products, building construction program, and a computer and electronics certifications.
The GREENGUARD Certification Program provides independent testing and certification of low emitting products and materials. Currently GEI has certified products from over 100 manufactures from various industries, the first of which was awarded in 2002. Starting in 2005 GEI introduced a new GREENGUARD standard for children and schools to provide stringent product emission standards for school buildings and products. GREENGUARD certified products can be found on the GREENGUARD online products guide, which regularly tests the products to ensure indoor air quality standards.
The GREENGUARD Building Construction Program began in 2006 as a program that certifies the “design, construction and ongoing operations of newly constructed multifamily and commercial properties” from damage wrought by excess mold. GREENGUARD building certified construction projects were demonstrated to adhere to strict standards and continue to be observed to ensure long term compliance during the loan term.
In March of 2008 GEI announced that it would begin certifying computers and electronics that are free from toxic emissions. The certification program determines the “outgasing” of electronics while they are being used in order to reduce the risk of asthma, allergies, and respiratory problems. Regulations on the chemical content of electronics have now been established by the European Union. The US does not have such regulations. Lenovo’s M57/M57P “Eco” was the first electrons program to become certified.
Advisory Board Edit
GEI’s advisory board represent a group of volunteers who are experts in indoor air quality. Their personal interest in indoor air quality compel them to participate as they are not representatives of their primary organization.
GEI Advisory Board Members
Marilyn Black, PhD, Air Quality Sciences
Penny Bonda, Environmental Communications
Laura Case, Emory University
Dagmar Epsten, The Epsten Group
Debra Harris, PhD, idr studio, inc.
Bob Kobet, Sustainaissance International
Michaella Wittmann, HDR
Ex Officio Advisory Board Members
Paul Murray, Herman Miller, Inc.
Lou Newett, Knoll, Inc.
Mike Lynam, Knauf Insulation
Staff Members Edit
The following are the major staff members at GEI:
Henning Bloech, LEED AP – Executive Director
Susan Heil, LEED AP - Director of Marketing
Mandi Joyner, LEED AP - Marketing Specialist
Maria Rutland, LEED AP ID + C - Marketing Specialist Allison Laney - Marketing Coordinator
Kathryn Brock - Marketing Coordinator
Paul Bates, LEED AP BD + C – Market Outreach Manager
Leslie Gage, Assoc. AIA, LEED AP BD+C - Market Segment Manager
Rachel Belew - Public Relations/Communications Manager
Josh Jacobs, LEED AP ID +C - Technical Information & Public Affairs Manager
Ethleen Howell – Operations Manager
Vondia Wells - Operations Specialist
Ken Dillion Memorial Fellowship Edit
GEI presents an $3500 fellowship annually to a graduate or undergraduate student studying indoor environments, emphasizing the health effects of indoor air quality. Ken Dillion was a member of the original GEI advisory board and leading researcher of indoor air quality at the University of Alabama at Birmingham. Dr. Dillion trained home owners to recognize and monitor health hazards.