Grüner Knopf

What is Grüner Knopf?

The Grüner Knopf (Green Button) is a federal textile quality seal that sets binding requirements for companies in textile supply chains in order to protect people and the environment. A total of 46 rigorous social and environmental standards must be met.

Key elements of Grüner Knopf

The Grüner Knopf audit is carried out both at company and product level. The company audit offers the real added value of the Grüner Knopf compared to other textile labels: the companies prove that they know the human rights risks in their supply chains, report on them - and correct them. An important step towards more transparency in a global supply chain.

The five main issues here are:
  1. orientation of company policies
  2. risk identification
  3. implementation of preventive measures
  4. transparent external communication and the establishment of a complaints management system
  5. redress in the event of negative impacts in the supply chain

At the product level, Grüner Knopf acts as a meta label. This means that the labeling of the products is based on already existing certificates, such as products which are certified according to GOTS.

Grüner Knopf was developed by the German Federal Ministry for Development and Cooperation (BMZ) in cooperation with the Association for International Cooperation (GIZ) since 2014, in close cooperation with Control Union Certifications as an independent certification body. Since September 2019, certification is now possible for brands, trading houses and retailers serving the German market.

In order to be audited and certified against Grüner Knopf, you must first go through a preliminary interview with the Grüne Knopf administrative office.

To do this, you must submit an application in the Grüner Knopf online portal.

As soon as your application has been reviewed and accepted, you select an appointment for a preliminary meeting in the online portal. Afterwards or at the same time, you are welcome to contact us and we will schedule the initial audit.

The initial audit must also take place in the current situation at your site. The costs for the initial audit are covered by the Ministry of Development during the pilot phase. This includes consulting services by the office as well as the initial certification and licensing costs.

The audit lasts 1-2 days, depending on the size of the organization. The audit includes an introduction to the company, a short tour of the company's premises and an evaluatation of the company and product criteria by reviewing the documents and talking to the employees involved (e.g. NH management, Procurement, those responsible for various CSR areas, etc.).

The certificate is valid for three years, with two follow-up audits after every 12 months.

There are five main elements in the corporate audit:

  1. Orientation of the company policy (policy statement on how to deal with certain things and what the expectations of suppliers and partners are)
  2. Preparation and evaluation of a risk analysis (for procurement or own business model)
  3. The development and implementation of appropriate policies (at the own site and at the suppliers' site)
  4. Transparent external communication
  5. And the establishment of complaint management (for the supply chain and at manufacturing plants) and redress in the event of negative impacts occuring within the supply chain

The product verification is carried out on the basis of already existing labels. An overview of the currently recognized quality marks can be found here:

You can find more information about Grüner Knopf here

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