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Green Seal recently announced a new certification standard for paints and coatings that fully aligns with the latest version of the LEED green building rating system. Products certified to Green Seal’s updated paint standard are designated by the U.S. Green Building Council (USGBC) as complying with the requirements for the LEED v4 and v4.1 low-emitting materials credit.

Green Seal’s paint certification is the only mark in the marketplace to qualify products for both LEED v4.1 credit requirements and Amazon’s Climate Pledge Friendly badge, making it simple for health-focused buyers to identify safer products. The updated GS-11 Standard for Paints, Coatings, Stains and Sealers is also compliant with WELL v.1 and Fitwell standards.

“Green Seal's paint standard has rewarded leading manufacturers for low-VOC content, safer formulas, and effective functional performance since it was first issued nearly 30 years ago,” says Doug Gatlin, CEO of Green Seal. “With our latest standard update, purchasers, facility managers, and consumers can confidently choose paints that fully align with LEED v4.1 green building certification and are verified to the highest standard of health, safety, and functional performance.”

“LEED certification encourages the uptake of sustainable practices, including the use of low-emitting indoor materials that protect human health,” said Melissa Baker, SVP, LEED Technical Development, USGBC. “Green Seal’s updated paint certification raises the bar for protecting indoor environmental quality and offers a simple and effective path for complying with our most health-protective requirements in LEED.”

“I was a real estate developer for nearly two decades, and I know that selecting the right paint for a project can be challenging, especially when you’re trying to identify a paint that reduces exposure to toxic chemicals,” said Gina Ciganik, CEO of Healthy Buildings Network. “Chemicals that are harmful to children’s development, like endocrine-disrupting alkylphenol ethoxylates (APEs) are still all too prevalent in low-VOC paint products. Green Seal’s multi-attribute paint standard is widely trusted by purchasers because it addresses not just VOC emissions but also chemical content, making it simple to identify truly safer products.”

Green Seal’s certification indicates a paint or coating product is safer for people and the planet than similar products while providing uncompromising performance. Green Seal restricts VOC chemical content and requires VOC emissions testing to ensure healthier indoor air quality. Unlike single-attribute certifications that focus solely on VOC emissions, Green Seal’s standard also restricts carcinogens, reproductive toxins, hazardous air pollutants, preservatives that emit formaldehyde, heavy metals, alkylphenol ethoxylates, and a host of other harmful chemicals, ensuring certified products are safer for building occupants while providing uncompromising functional performance. 

In addition, Green Seal ensures that certified products use environmentally preferable packaging materials and contain ingredients that are safer for water bodies.

During a time of increased concern about indoor air quality, Green Seal-certified products are trusted and specified by institutional purchasers and facility managers across the world. In addition, consumer publications ranging from The Washington Post to The Spruce to Bob Vila consistently cite Green Seal certification as the benchmark for healthier paints. In 2020 alone, paints and coatings certified to Green Seal standards prevented more than half a million pounds of VOC pollution throughout at least 120 million square feet of LEED-certified building space.

Learn more about Green Seal’s paint certification program here