Germany’s Green Button Hits All the Right Buttons

Maor Yur
September 29, 2020

A few days ago, the German Development Ministry (BMZ) introduced a new and exciting initiative called ‘The Green Button’. This local certification creates solid environmental and social standards for companies to follow, including the payment of minimum wage, sustainable treatment of wastewater, use of non-harmful chemicals, and more. 

The idea is to add a simple label that will inform shoppers when companies have met these standards following a thorough due diligence process. The label will make conscious purchasing decisions easier and clearer to follow. As a company that adheres to voluntary standards for years, everyone here at Kornit was thrilled to hear about the Green Button. Here’s why. 

The voluntarily standards of today are the mandatory rules of tomorrow 

At first glance, not much about the Green Button initiative is new. There are plenty of organizations and certifications that grant companies different stamps of approval based on their consideration of the environment and labor conditions. The only thing is, these existing initiatives are all voluntary and lack the support and gravitas of a governmental decision. The Green Button proves that years of hard work by social impact organizations have managed to raise the necessary awareness and public support that led to this remarkable step by the German authorities. The voluntary standards we choose to accept today will set the tone for future rules and regulations and should be taken seriously. 

Market demands make a difference 

Speaking of public awareness and support, these play an important part in creating a new consensus that politicians and regulators embrace later on. The fact that today’s shoppers care about where their clothes came from and what their manufacturing process entailed is crucial. Educating consumers on the work procedures and materials used by the textile industry helps create the market demand for a healthier reality. After all, the Green Button doesn’t forbid textile manufacturing that fails to meet these standards but instead offers a shorter and more straightforward path for shoppers looking to buy clothes that bring less harm. This alone is a powerful statement that will encourage more manufacturers to rethink their choices.

Social and ecological aspects

We already know that the textile industry is one of the most polluting ones in the world, responsible for alarming amounts of waste, the abuse and pollution of water sources, and more. We also know that in some countries around the world, textile factories do not provide employees the most basic human rights. These two important topics were both taken into consideration when creating the Green Button, and that is important. There can be no true sustainability where people’s rights are being ignored, and there can be no healthy work environment where the planet is suffering. Companies and shoppers looking to make a difference need to confront both issues and make sure that they meet the necessary standards.  

Kornit’s efforts for conscious textile manufacturing have been around for years. We’re proud to think that our waterless procedures and constant awareness campaigns help raise the level of awareness necessary to turn programs like the Green Button into reality. We will continue to promote these important messages and invite you to join us.