RV Manufacturers Jump on the Go Green Bandwagon
RV Manufacturers Go Green
RVers have shown concern for their environment for years, but the RV industry has only recently joined the effort of going green. Office buildings, hospitals, retail chains and home builders all have their own ‘green’ certifications. So, why not the RV manufacturers? That’s what the independent, third-party company, TRA Certification, Inc., asked when they developed a program that focused on Green Certification for RVs.
What does green really mean? Based on the standards applied to the National Green Building standard for single-family homes, TRA set out to evaluate RVs. Though prior to certification, the entire manufacturing plant must show that they are certified green.
Once the manufacturer demonstrates its ‘greenness,’ TRA measures the RV model to six main categories that are similar to the LEED Certification standards used by home builders:
- Resource efficiency (building design and materials)
- Water efficiency
- Energy efficiency
- Indoor air quality
- Operation maintenance
- Innovative practices
The RV manufacturer is awarded points for meeting specified measures in each of the categories, and depending on the level of ranking, the manufacturer learns which areas need improving so that it can reach appropriate green certification levels. For instance, an RV may rank high in its air systems, but low in water efficiency. Or, one unit may come equipped with only 50% recycled materials whereas another may use 100% recycled materials. Like any quality initiative or certification process, the category review provides the manufacturer specific goals it can focus on to reach higher green standards.
To maintain consistency and assist manufacturers in reaching new heights in being green, a system of levels for RV units was created to include: bronze, silver, gold, and emerald status. These levels push the manufacturer, once they achieve green status, to continually strive for new ways to be efficient and environmentally conscious in building their products. Also, the level categories help consumers understand what they are actually getting with their purchase or RV rental. In 2009, Evergreen Recreational Vehicles was the first manufacturer to reach the Emerald status. Other green-certified RV manufacturers include: Coachmen RV, Forest River, Jayco, Starcraft, Cruiser RV, and Gulf Stream.
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