By Darian Warden
Assistant Editor, RV Daily Report
ELKHART, Ind. — TRA Certification has updated its checklist for green standards, making it available to the public and manufacturers on its website for the very first time, the company told RV Daily Report.
Previously, clients could receive points for applying green procedures to the manufacturing process; however, Amanda Leazenby, green program manager for TRA Certification, said the program was not very specific. Originally the checklist was unavailable to view for confidentiality purposes. Leazenby told RV Daily Report the company no longer feels threatened by competitors and hopes that by clarifying what “green certified” means to consumers, manufacturers will work to implement greener manufacturing processes.
“If consumers have assumptions about what ‘green’ is, this will clarify those assumptions,” said Leazenby. “It’s a lot more holistic than what people will assume is green. If someone buys a coach and sees that label, they should go to www.certifiedgreenrvs.com and should be able to see the checklist now and check the status.
She added that TRA works as a third party support system to manufacturers the company certifies as green.
“It’s nice for consumers to have the information in front of their face and can learn to expect these things from their ‘green’ RVs. Some manufacturers who are not green certified call themselves ‘green’ and it is really unclear as to what they are doing,” said Leazenby. “That can be very confusing to the consumer. They might think, ‘Oh, my RV is green,’ when in reality maybe the company just does something eco-friendly.
As well as making the checklist public, the certified green RV labels have changed. While there are still four levels of certification, (bronze, silver, gold and emerald) the labels have changed to simply say “green certified.” If the consumer wants to know the specifics they have to get online and view the levels. Previously, each level had a different corresponding label. Now only the emerald will have a different look.
“The emerald is elite so it needs to be a little different,” said Leazenby. “So far only EverGreen RV is considered emerald status.”
Leazenby said she receives a lot of calls from consumers concerning indoor air quality, adding that water quality and energy efficiency are things to consider as well. She added that the checklist is a living thing.
“We’re still trying to get some feedback from dealers, manufacturers and consumers. It’s a living thing. I might walk into a manufacturer and see something I haven’t seen before. I have to accommodate innovation,” said Leazenby. “Generally, being ‘green’ has to do with saving something, whether resources, materials or even time in the process.”
While this is a step forward, Leazenby said she hopes to take “green certified” even further in the future, including expanding to campgrounds.
“I would love to see campgrounds incentivize customers who come in with a green RV label on their RV. If an RV is green and energy efficient campgrounds are going to recognize those cost savings in their hook-ups.
“This isn’t just about building green, but building smarter,” Leazenby said. “I’m really excited. Manufacturers should be proud to be certified green and should put the marketing behind it. It’s something to be touted right along with a great warranty and roadside assistance.”
For more information, visit www.tragreen.com.