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Recycled Content Certification

For Products and Recycling Programs
Timothy Whatley, Sales Executivephone icon616.443.0231 Email

Recycled content certification demonstrates your commitment to conserving natural resources, helps you meet customer specifications, can qualify your products for LEED and environmentally preferable purchasing (EPP) programs, and supports your sustainability goals. Manufacturers of carpet, textiles, building products, wood and paper products, insulation, clothing, jewelry, and more seek this trusted certification label.

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SCS Global Services provides two types of certification to recognize your achievements:

  • Recycled Content Certification - The SCS Recycled Content Certification evaluates products made from pre-consumer or post-consumer material diverted from the waste stream. Certification measures the percentage of recycled content for the purpose of making an accurate claim in the marketplace.
  • Recycling Program Certification - The SCS Recycling Program Certification helps recyclers and reclamation facilities make credible claims about their diversion strategies and recycling rates.
  1. Data Collection and Analysis

    Your auditor helps you assemble your data and documentation. Your auditor reviews your manufacturing data, processes, and chain of custody procedures to determine if conformance is achieved as well as the nature of your claim.

  2. Report Draft Assessment Report

    Your auditor writes a draft assessment report that details the findings of the audit, including data analysis, non-conformities, and opportunities for improvement. You are required to respond to any non-conformities with a root cause analysis and corrective action.

    Onsite Audit: Your auditor uses a risk-based approach to determine if an onsite audit is needed. If it is needed, the onsite audit may be recommended prior to granting certification or within one year of certification.

  3. Review Internal Peer Review and Client Review

    A qualified SCS lead auditor reviews the report, making any necessary corrections or changes. The report is then sent to you for review, and you may comment on the information contained in the report and the conclusions drawn by the auditor.

  4. Decision Certification Decision

    If certification is achieved, SCS issues the certificate(s), logos, and final report to you. Your auditor works with you to determine how to list your products on the certificate(s). For Recycling Program, your auditor works closely with you to determine what the specific claims are that you would like to make. Once certified, your company and products are listed on the SCS Certified Green Products Guide. SCS can also provide limited marketing support.

  5. Maintain Certification Maintenance and Renewal

    Certification is valid for one year. SCS requires annual audits to maintain your certification and support continual improvement.


Certification of the recycled content in your product may help you:

  • Demonstrate leadership in reducing reliance on natural resources
  • Satisfy purchase requirements and customer specifications
  • Meet regulatory requirements
  • Meet consumer demand
  • Differentiate your product in a crowded field
What type of material can be claimed as "recycled"?

Qualification of material as truly recycled is an important step in the certification process. Post- or pre-consumer material which meets the definition in ISO 14021 is considered for certification. Material must also conform to the requirements of the FTC Green Guides.

What is the minimum level of recycled content to get certified?

There is no minimum. The percentage of recycled content is derived from the weight of a finished product, and thus it is possible to have a seemingly small percentage actually representing a very substantial amount of material.

For example, glass comprises most the weight of the finished product in a window. For performance reasons related to clarity, the amount of recycled glass used is limited. Some framing materials can contain high levels of recycled content (and can represent a substantial amount of total material diverted from the waste stream over a year), however, by weight, contribute less to the total percentage of recycled content in windows than do glass. SCS believes it would be misleading to claim a large percentage of recycled content for the frame only, when the product purchased is a window.

What claim can I make once my product is certified?

The SCS recycled content claim specifies the percentage of recycled content and is based on rigorous analysis of the inputs of a manufacturing process. SCS will never certify that a product contains recycled content of an indeterminate quantity.

What happens if the recycled content in my product varies?

The minimum is generally listed. If it is impossible for the customer to trace the origin of the product, given multiple production sites or a wide shipping distribution, an average claim will be made.

Can I certify my product if it is produced at multiple facilities?

Yes, many clients have multiple production facilities.

Do I qualify for LEED contributions by obtaining certification?

LEED currently does not require independent third party certification for recycled content. However, many specifiers do.

Does SCS provide certification support?

SCS provides ongoing program support, including on-going staff assistance, marketing and promotional support, and information about new or revised requirements. Certified clients will receive information about the logo approval system and use of SCS trademarks for both on-product and off-product promotions.

For immediate service:

Timothy Whatley, Sales Executive phone icon 616.443.0231 Email Timothy