We test companies and products according to the Green Button criteria.

As a certification body approved by the German Federal Ministry for Economic Cooperation and Development (BMZ), Hohenstein is authorized to audit companies and test products for compliance with the Green Button criteria.

The Green Button is a government seal for sustainably produced textiles. It sets binding requirements to protect people and the environment in the production of textiles. For this seal, both the product and the company are inspected.

Companies wishing to certify their products with the Green Button must comply with 46 demanding social and environmental criteria - including 20 company due diligance criteria and 26 social and environmental product criteria.

The state sets the criteria and conditions for the Green Button. Independent testing bodies, such as Hohenstein, monitor compliance with the criteria.

Choose Hohenstein - Benefit Twice

Company Audit:

Hohenstein has many years of global expertise in auditing companies throughout the textile chain as well as product testing in accordance with international certifications and industry initiatives.

As an approved certification body, we verify compliance with the Green Button corporate criteria.

Product Verification:

MADE IN GREEN by OEKO-TEX® is one of the few labels accepted for Green Button certification. Plus, unlike other labels, MADE IN GREEN covers not only organic cotton, but all fiber types.

As an OEKO-TEX® founding member, we award the MADE IN GREEN by OEKO-TEX® label for textiles that have been tested for harmful substances and produced in an environmentally friendly and socially responsible manner.

OEKO-TEX® + Green Button

The MADE IN GREEN by OEKO-TEX® label is one of the few reference seals recognized by the BMZ. It directly fulfills the required product criteria for the Green Button.

Sew-in label with MADE IN GREEN by OEKO-TEX® logo, certification number, institute, website and sustainability claim.

Want the Green Button?

Here is what you need to know.

The seal holder is the German Federal Ministry for Economic Cooperation and Development (BMZ). The seal owner sets the criteria and conditions for the Green Button. An office is set up at the Deutsche Gesellschaft für Internationale Zusammenarbeit (GIZ) GmbH.

Independent certification bodies such as Hohenstein monitor compliance with the criteria. If certification is successful, the Green Button seal is awarded on behalf of the BMZ.

The Green Button is aimed at all companies that manufacture and/or distribute textile goods. This includes manufacturers of goods as well as trading companies that sell third-party products under their own brands.

However, it does not cover companies that distribute third-party products without themselves acting as product managers.

The seal is awarded for all textile products. However, articles that are (partly) made of leather as well as toys and fabrics are excluded.

Product examples:

  • Clothing:
    Women's wear, men's wear, children's wear, daywear and nightwear, sportswear and functional clothing, outdoor textiles, socks, stockings, etc.
  • Home and household textiles:
    Linens, bedding, towels, table linen and kitchen textiles, curtains, decorative materials, furniture upholstery fabrics, floor coverings, etc.
  • Technical textiles:
    Personal protective equipment and workwear, medical and hygiene products, textile materials for automotive interiors, geotextiles, agricultural and environmental textiles, construction materials and insulation materials, etc.
  • Textile accessories:
    Headwear, scarves, shawls, gloves, bags, backpacks, etc.

The Green Button certification procedure has four stages. Participation in the subsequent stage requires successful completion of the previous stage.

  1. Information and application | Awarding body
    Your company submits an application to the awarding office. The awarding office provides information documents and answers questions about the certification process. Your company then submits an application for certification. This is checked by the awarding office for eligibility to apply.
  2. Consultation | Office
    After your application has been positively reviewed, a non-binding and confidential consultation meeting is held by the Green Button office. This is in preparation of the audit by an independent certification body. The focus of the discussion is on the company-related requirements and the product-related social and environmental criteria. As a basis for the discussion, your company must complete and submit a self-assessment in advance.
  3. Certification audit | Certification body (Hohenstein)
    Following the consultation, your company makes an appointment for an audit with Hohenstein, the certification body approved for the Green Button. You sign a contract with Hohenstein to carry out the audit. Our experts check the fulfillment of all company-related requirements as well as the fulfillment of the product criteria during an audit at your company. If the audit is successful, we issue a certificate for you.
  4. Licensing | Awarding body
    After receiving the certificate, your company concludes a licensing agreement with the awarding body. During the term of the license agreement (3 years), it entitles your company to label the audited products with the Green Button. Your company can find details on labeling and advertising in the Green Button Logo Manual.

Any company can contact the Green Button Awarding Body for advice.

CONTACT FORM OF THE AWARDING BODY

APPLICATION FORM (German)

Vergabestelle Grüner Knopf
RAL gemeinnützige GmbH

(Green Button Awarding Body)
Fränkische Straße 7
53229 Bonn
GERMANY
Phone: +49 228 688 95-195
E-mail:

 

Please note: As of March 2021, you can select Hohenstein as the certification body and then contact us directly.

During the introductory phase (until June 30, 2021), the seal holder (BMZ) will cover the costs, including

  • Consulting services by the Green Button office
  • Initial certification
  • Licensing fees

Please note: There is no legal entitlement to the free company audit during the introductory phase.

The seal holder does not bear the costs for the following procedures, which are the responsibility of the applicant company:

  • Product re-registrations (costs arising from a certificate supplement and, if applicable, auditing of new suppliers)
  • Surveillance audits after 06.30.2021, which take place after 12 months, and re-certifications, which take place after three years

No license fees are charged.

To receive the Green Button, companies must comply with a 46 demanding social and environmental criteria that cover both the product and the company.

Product Criteria
For a T-shirt or bed linen to receive the Green Button, 26 social and environmental criteria must be met - the "product criteria." To this end, the Green Button builds on recognized, credible seals - e.g. MADE IN GREEN by OEKO-TEX®.

Company Criteria
In addition to the individual products, the company as a whole is also audited. Companies must demonstrate human rights, social and environmental responsibility based on 20 due diligence criteria.

Textile articles must comply with 26 social and ecological criteria for the Green Button.

For product compliance, the Green Button builds on seals that are already recognized. Companies can use MADE IN GREEN by OEKO-TEX® to demonstrate compliance with social and environmental requirements.

During the introductory phase, the criteria for products will apply to the production stages "cutting and sewing" (manufacturing of ready-made goods) and "bleaching and dyeing" (wet processes). However, the Green Button is planning further development of the required criteria and extension to all production stages of the textile chain. Among other things, living wages are targeted for addition.

Ecological product criteria examples:

  • Ban on hazardous chemicals
  • Biodegradability of chemicals used
  • Limit values for wastewater
  • Lower air pollution and CO2 emissions
  • Use of natural fibers tested for harmful substances
  • More sustainable sourcing of man-made fibers

Social product criteria examples:

  • Prohibition of forced and child labor
  • Prohibition of harassment and discrimination in the workplace
  • Payment of minimum wages
  • Regulated working hours and paid overtime
  • Right to freedom of association and collective bargaining
  • Ensuring occupational health and safety

To earn the Green Button, companies must credibly demonstrate their social, human rights and environmental responsibility and reputable business practices based on 20 criteria.

Evaluation of companies is based on five core areas:

  • Alignment of company policy on human rights and environmental protection
  • Analysis of risks and impacts within the supply chain
  • Implementation of effective measures
  • Transparent reporting to the public
  • Consideration of complaints

The 46 company and product criteria are assessed with an on-site company audit conducted by the certification body (Hohenstein).

After the initial audit, the appointed certification body (Hohenstein) conducts a renewed surveillance audit every year during the three-year term of the certificate. After three years, a new audit is carried out as part of the re-certification process, and so on.

Green Button Certification

Submit your application for certification to the Green Button Awarding Body here. Choose Hohenstein as your certifying body.

Downloads

For the latest documents, visit www.gruener-knopf.de/en/downloads.

Contact
Ben Mead
Managing Director
Hohenstein Institute America