EverGreen Recreational Vehicles, which uses all composite materials to build Ever-Lite travel trailers and fifth wheels, has become the first company to earn the TRA Emerald Certified Green rating from TRA Certification, Inc.
Green certification is a new program for the RV and park model industries created by an affiliate of T.R. Arnold and Associates, an internationally accredited certifier of quality management systems.
Drawing on green building standards used in the housing industry, TRA Certification has developed four levels of green certification that RV companies can promote with special stickers on their products.
Tom Arnold, president of TRA Certification, said many companies are making claims that their products are environmentally friendly and some of the claims are “on a very flimsy basis,” making it difficult for consumers to know which claims to believe. By acting as a third-party evaluator of green products and practices, TRA Certification can bring credibility to the process, said Mandy Leazenby, the company’s green program manager.
Arnold said the RV industry has been “getting greener” in a number of ways, including use of aerodynamic designs and lighter materials to reduce fuel consumption.
“There are many ways in which a company can tout its greenness,” said Arnold. “Often a company may not even realize what product or practices can be called green. That’s where we can help. Products like awnings, for example, not only provide campsite shade for RVers, but also for their RV, thereby reducing cooling loads.”
Arnold said that by defining standards and providing evaluation, TRA Certification can give companies recognition for their environmental efforts and also provide a guide for consumers.