Green Seal, the nation’s first independent nonprofit certifier of sustainable products and services, has introduced a revised version of its GS-11 Standard that is expanded to cover most types of architectural coatings on the market today.

This new edition of GS-11, a compilation of the previous edition of GS-11 and the GS-47 Standard for Stains and Finishes, includes floor coatings, concrete and masonry sealers, and fire resistive coatings, in addition to the paints, primers, anti-corrosive coatings, and reflective coatings previously covered.  Clear and transparent coatings are also included in the 24 product categories that are now eligible for certification.

The new Green Seal standard offers greater flexibility for the assessment of VOCS and aligns with VOC limits set by the current California Air Resources Board. The standard also addresses:

  • Stains and finishes for wood and metal, previously covered by the GS-47 Standard
  • Updates for clarity on certain criteria for chemical ingredients, reflecting the current market for leadership products

GS-11 ensures that certified paints, coatings, stains, and sealers deliver satisfactory performance. Each product is tested for performance parameters applicable to the intended use of that product.

With the rapid advances in formulation technology Green Seal redesigned GS-11 to promote the creation of safer coatings by restricting a comprehensive list of harmful chemicals, including heavy metals, certain phthalates, formaldehyde donors, carcinogens, mutagens, reproductive toxins, hazardous air pollutants, and ozone depleting compounds. Certain exceptions are made for titanium dioxide, carbon black, crystalline silica, and PCBTF because they are necessary for acceptable performance and feasible alternatives are currently lacking.

Green Seal’s certification process involves an in-depth review of product data and manufacturing procedures, including an on-site audit of manufacturing facilities. Periodic monitoring is required to maintain certification.

To download the revised GS-11 standard or apply for Green Seal certification, visit: