The year 2020 is nearly halfway over and now is a better time than ever to revisit this year's sustainability goals. Whether you are an active LP50 participant or an interested outsider, we are here to help you better understand what resources are available to you and how we can continue to leverage the common voice provided by LP50.
Let's start by refreshing our memories on what LP50 is and its tangible goals. LP50 is an unprecedented collaboration of leading manufacturers that are working to promote healthy and high-performing building materials. LP50 is largely driven by these participating companies but is hosted by the International Living Future Institute (ILFI).
The goals laid out by the ILFI are as follows:
- To leverage a common voice of sustainability to communicate more effectively with stakeholders in the green building industry
- To support the green building movement through product transparency
- To collectively develop sustainability initiatives and report progress back to stakeholders
- To challenge customers and suppliers to better integrate sustainability
The takeaway here is simple - "The LP50 is a collaboration of leading manufacturers working to ensure that full ingredient transparency is the rule, not the exception."
Our previous blog on LP50 explains the goals and how Toxnot fits into the equation in greater detail. If you have not yet read this and are still in the process of contemplating supplier outreach and gathering the data to do so, visit the LP50 101 blog to learn more and schedule a time to chat with us about how Toxnot can help.
A large element of LP50 is the Closing the Transparency Loop (CTL) movement. CTL was designed to shine a light on the lack of communication within the value chains embedded in the building industry which leads to little information gathered on sustainability efforts. With little information or data on the impact of transparency and sustainability, it becomes harder for manufacturers to justify investment in sustainability. This is why simply sending the LP50 letter and data requests to suppliers alone is not enough. It is more important than ever to take advantage of the collaborative voice LP50 provides to actively pursue and encourage industry-wide transparency. As individuals, we don't always have the ability to control the environmental, social, and health impacts of industry around the world. This, however, is a unique opportunity that does in fact allow us to extend beyond our individual bounds to influence positive change.
So, once you're ready to embark on your supplier outreach, or you have already done so, it's important to revisit the goals of LP50. Here are some tips and suggestions on how you can keep the voice of LP50 alive as well as resources that can help you lean into those advantages.
After you have sent the LP50 supplier letter, be sure to follow up and have conversations about LP50. The letter is a great way to plant the seed of product transparency, but having discussions with your suppliers will help them better understand the importance of transparency within the building industry. These conversations are also a great time to discuss any apprehension your supplier may have about disclosing their data. You can then explain not only the social and environmental benefits of a clean and cohesive supply chain, but also the market advantage of meeting consumer and manufacturer requests for more transparent and sustainable products.
Another approach you can use in meeting the goals of LP50 is leaning into the benefits of technology like Toxnot. Toxnot can help you with all aspects of your supplier outreach through supplier surveys as well as maintaining the data you receive. An aspect of Toxnot that is especially appealing to suppliers in the ability to make data proprietary. There may be times when suppliers are not quite ready for 100 percent disclosure but would still like to share the data for most of their product. Through supplier survey functionality, suppliers can mark specific CAS numbers as proprietary, meaning the specific chemical is private to just them, while still providing you with the hazard data as the manufacturer. With tools like Toxnot at your disposal, suppliers may be more likely to share information, furthering the mission of LP50.
Lastly, we recommend Toxnot Shared Materials as a resource and platform that can help you and the broader LP50 community by CTL. Toxnot Shared Materials is a database within Toxnot that suppliers and manufacturers can use to publish material and product data. The individual sharing information has complete control over the content that is shared and who it is shared with. Ideally, as product transparency becomes the "norm" within the industry, Toxnot Shared Materials will be a place where everyone can come to gather material data for compliance, reporting, and sustainability disclosures, all at no cost. As suppliers respond to your supplier surveys in Toxnot, they will easily be able to publish the same data to Toxnot Shared Materials. Encouraging your suppliers to take this step can make a huge difference in reaching those industry-wide transparency goals.
If you have more tips or success stories from your own experiences in product transparency, we would love to hear from you so we can continue sharing helpful information! You can email us here or chat us directly using the chat box in the bottom right-hand side of your screen.