CRI Green Label Plus


Carpets can be major contributors to indoor air quality. The Carpet and Rug Institute (CRI) initiated Green Label Plus, a voluntary industry program for carpets, adhesives, and cushions with the mission to lower VOC emissions.1 The CRI is a leader in the carpet industry and the Green Label Plus program currently establishes the highest standard for indoor air quality.1


Lowering VOCs

When the Green Label program first launched in 1992, it promoted the identification of low VOC carpets, adhesives, and cushions.2 Forget what a VOC or Volatile Organic Compound is? You’ll find our favorite VOC guide here. And don’t let “organic” fool you into thinking it’s a natural occurrence; many VOCs are human-made. The label allows architects, builders, specifiers, and facility managers to identify products which meet strict regulations for chemical emissions.1


Program Requirements

The Green Label Plus program tests products against 35 chemical compounds adhering to the California’s Department of Public Health Standard method – the most important standard in the US concerning the evaluation and reduction of VOC emissions in indoor air.3

Green Label Plus also meets the testing standards of the Collaborative for High Performance schools. CHPS works as a rating system that ensures low-emitting materials for school buildings.4 It requires that 75% of flooring, including carpet, be tested for VOCs, and provides a rule on adhesives modeled after SCAQMD rule 1168.4


Avoiding hazardous compounds

Hazardous compounds are often used as solvents and can be detrimental when inhaled. The compounds can be absorbed through the skin – causing irritation, headaches, and nausea.5 Some also have endocrine-disrupting effects.6 CRI Green Label Plus testing protocols not only ensure low-emitting products but also prevent hazardous compounds and harmful chemicals from polluting our indoor environments.7



Indoor Air Quality is important when we spend 90% of our time indoors and not all carpet material is created equally.8
Consider the following Green Label Plus practices for carpets, adhesives, and cushions:  

✓ Spec Green Label Plus certified products, ranging from carpets to adhesives.9 Click here to be redirected to the CRI database.
✓ Prefer adhesives that meet a VOC limit of 50 g/L required by the SCAQMD.10
✓ Specify carpets that contain recycled materials, such as those that have been post-consumer.10
✓ Consider end-of-life management by specifying recycling when carpet removal becomes part of a project. 10