Frequently asked questions

Frequently Asked Questions

About the program

The Greenhealth Approved seal signals to purchasers that a product has been reviewed for environmental features and found to meet our criteria. The criteria includes a variety of components such as chemicals of concern, packaging, and additional attributes.

The program was developed to help health care providers quickly identify more sustainable products. Greenhealth Approved reduces the time-consuming and sometimes costly product reviews that are needed to research and interpret sustainability features.
Some products are used in health care in addition to other markets, so there is potential for the seal to be seen outside of a health care setting. But generally, Greenhealth Approved focuses on health care supplies.
The review process starts with data collection and supplier questionnaires that are reviewed by Greenhealth Approved’s team of experts. In limited cases, outside experts may be consulted.

The Greenhealth Approved seal is currently applicable to products meeting Health Care Without Harm’s Safer Chemicals criteria including:

Products that expand on the categories* listed are being evaluated for inclusion. As the program expands, other sustainability factors may be included and evaluated.

Learn how to get the Greenhealth Approved seal.

*For products that address different sustainability issues or are not within one of the Greenhealth Approved categories, please complete the application. We will contact you to better understand your product(s).

Submission of a product for review is not an indication of future licensing.

No. The Greenhealth Approved seal helps purchasers easily identify products that meet sustainability criteria without the need to do their own research and screening. It is not a product endorsement.

The seal represents a product that has been evaluated against and met a set of criteria and has been reviewed for functionality in a health care setting. There may be more than one manufacturer with similar or like products that carry the seal.

Changes in formulation of products with the Greenhealth Approved seal must be reported to Greenhealth Approved by any manufacturer using our seal. Greenhealth Approved reserves the right to conduct seller audits at their sole discretion.

For suppliers

By participating in the Greenhealth Approved program, suppliers can signal to purchasers that their product(s) meet Health Care Without Harm’s criteria and have been vetted by a trusted source. The seal allows potential buyers to quickly identify product(s) as meeting a set of sustainability requirements without the need for in-house research and screening.

The seal on products does not prohibit purchasers from using their existing group purchasing organization or local/regional contracts that might be in place. Therefore, the seal aligns easily with current purchasing practices, while providing enhanced confidence in meeting providers’ sustainability goals.

  1. Review the overarching process to get the seal.
  2. Visit the webpage for your product category and review the criteria and specific requirements. Note: A comprehensive review and sound understanding of the relevant criteria is necessary to ensure that products meet the criteria requirements.
  3. Download the intake form relevant to the category. 
  4. Follow the application process and submit the application and completed form. The Greenhealth Approved team will review your submission and contact you to work through the remaining components of the review, including execution of the agreement and screening of the product(s).
The use of the Greenhealth Approved seal requires a nominal fee that covers the product screening. If the product meets the criteria, an annual licensing fee is required for the use of the Greenhealth Approved seal. That fee is based on the number of product brands/configurations for each formulation.
That determination is made through the application, data collection, and screening process. The screening process will require submission of ingredients, including proprietary. However, the agreement signed by both parties requires confidentiality.
The Greenhealth Approved seal can be displayed on marketing materials, packaging, and exhibit materials as outlined in our Greenhealth Approved seal use guide.
With complete and accurate information on the product information form and application, screening will typically take approximately four weeks. If a product falls outside of the current products categories being screened, the Greenhealth Approved team will work with the manufacturer to determine a timeframe.
The signed agreement will be for a three-year term, barring product formulation and/or packaging changes.
Yes. The Greenhealth Approved screening process is separate and distinct from the legacy Healthier Hospitals Initiative and requires an application and information to be provided for review by the Greenhealth Approved team.
That determination is made through the application, data collection, and screening process. The screening process will require submission of ingredients, including proprietary. However, the agreement signed by both parties requires confidentiality.
Greenhealth Approved uses the criteria of Practice Greenhealth and Health Care Without Harm, which is based on years of work and research in health care sustainability. Research and information is continually updated and supplemented by Health Care Without Harm and Practice Greenhealth, so in some cases our criteria will change. These changes will be done thoughtfully and only when necessary. In those cases, the Greenhealth Approved team will work with impacted manufacturers to determine if rescreening is necessary and complete the steps involved in measuring against a new set of criteria.
  1. Any supplier wishing to dispute the conformity decision of Greenhealth Approved should do so via email within 30 days of notification of the decision. The email should be addressed to:
  2. The email should include the specific reason the supplier believes a product DOES conform to the criteria and any data evidence to support that claim.
  3. Appropriate Greenhealth Approved staff will review the dispute email and associated product information.
  4. Where appropriate or necessary, Greenhealth Approved will discuss the dispute claim with the supplier for clarification purposes.
  5. Greenhealth Approved will notify the supplier of its decision on conformity within 30 days whenever possible. If a delay is experienced, the supplier will be notified of the reason for any such delay and provided with an estimated time frame for the conformity decision.
  6. The decision by Greenhealth Approved on conformity of a product after completion of the above dispute process is final unless the product is reformulated and resubmitted for vetting/validation, at which time, the product would be considered to be a NEW product application.
  7. When a product is found not to conform, the supplier is notified with an explanation of the reason for non-conformity.
  8. When a product is found to conform to the criteria, after the dispute resolution process, the supplier is notified by the Greenhealth Approved team and a Greenhealth Approved License Agreement is established.

For providers

Identifying sustainable products in a health care setting often requires time-consuming research and sourcing. The Greenhealth Approved program:

  • Saves staff time and effort around researching product requirements for sustainability attribute screening.
  • Extends and expands staff knowledge through Greenhealth Approved materials and education.
  • Allows staff to focus on other critical functions rather than researching sustainability product attributes.

Health Care Without Harm and Practice Greenhealth along with the Greenhealth Exchange developed the Greenhealth Approved seal to assist the entire health care market with the identification of products that meet criteria for sustainability.

The Greenhealth Approved seal does not interfere with current procurement pathways. Purchasers can continue to use existing procurement strategies, group purchasing organization relationships, processes, and priorities. The seal allows for quick identification of products meeting our sustainability criteria for more rapid selection and implementation.

Time and confidence. The use of products with the Greenhealth Approved seal allows providers to make progress toward their sustainability goals with reliably screened products, vetted by experts and hospitals. Ease of identification allows you and your colleagues to focus on other strategic components of purchasing. Using Greenhealth Approved products limits disruption in supply chain and other traditional business relationships.
Yes, the Greenhealth Approved seal is an indicator that the product has been screened against and met a set of sustainability criteria. The purchasing of Greenhealth Approved products can be done through your existing contractual arrangements, logistics, and processes. Just request and purchase products carrying the seal by using your existing processes.
Every time a Greenhealth Approved product is purchased, the manufacturer receives feedback that sustainable products are important to health care providers. This demand can result in price rationalization as well as greater product selection.
No. The nominal fees for screening and use of the Greenhealth Approved seal are paid by the manufacturer.
Yes. Suppliers should be encouraged to review the criteria and screening process and apply and submit their data for screening.

Furnishings/BIFMA certification

BIFMA LEVEL certifies furniture products by reviewing corporate, facility, and product manufacturing processes across Environmental Impact, Health and Wellness, and Social Responsibility categories. Together, the impact areas and categories review the entire life cycle of the product and ensure sustainable practices in all areas. The BIFMA LEVEL program has three performance tiers; LEVEL 1, 2, and 3 - products must meet a minimum level to be certified and the more criteria a product meets the higher the product ascends from LEVEL 1 to 2 to 3.

Optional credit 7.4.4 within the BIFMA certification utilizes the criteria of Health Care Without Harm for furnishings. Therefore, BIFMA certification that includes achievement of this optional credit signifies validation of the products against the criteria

Because many of the furnishing manufacturers serving health care are already going through BIFMA certification, collaborating with BIFMA to achieve Greenhealth Approved validation eliminates the need for duplicative review processes including data submission. The inclusion of optional credit 7.4.4 streamlines the certification process, enabling manufacturers to validate their products meet the furnishings criteria of Health Care Without Harm.
No. The Healthier Hospital initiative is no longer in existence. When the program was established years ago, it was instrumental in achieving market movement to more sustainable furnishings and building materials. However, the program was based on supplier self-attestation with the need for individual hospitals and health care providers performing their own validation at each organization. The use of BIFMA and Greenhealth Approved removes the need for that validation.
The lists on the Health Care Without Harm site represented self-attested products that required each provider to validate the ingredients against criteria. Greenhealth Approved is a signal to the market that a higher degree of product transparency is needed. With the establishment of Greenhealth Approved the lists previously listed on the Health Care Without Harm or Practice Greenhealth sites have been removed.
Currently, the program only includes the furnishings categories that can go through the BIFMA certification. We recognize the need for the market to be able to easily identify products that meet the sustainability criteria of Health Care Without Harm and are working to expand the program to include other categories under furnishings. Announcements to the market will be made as these expansions are launched.
Only those products that are BIFMA Certified with optional credit 7.4.4 are eligible to license the Greenhealth Approved seal.

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