Do you work with products or materials that are used in building construction or interior design? You have the ability support your customers by supplying them with proof that the products and materials you provide them with are responsibly sourced or created. This brings your customers one step closer to qualifying for LEED Certification!
What is LEED?
LEED, or Leadership in Energy and Environmental Design, is a widespread green building rating system that originated in 1993 and is applicable to nearly all building types including office buildings, residential buildings, education centers, and health care centers. LEED spans all phases of the building process from new construction to interior design and is run by the U.S. Green Building Council. The LEED Certification process provides guidance and framework for curating efficient, safe, environmentally friendly, and cost-saving buildings. Benefits of securing a LEED Certification include reduced operating costs, energy conservation, water conservation, waste reduction, less generation of greenhouse gas emissions, and the ability to provide a healthy and safe space for occupants.
How can product or material manufacturers assist in LEED Certifications?
Since LEED Certification is applicable to building projects, USGBC does not certify actual products or materials. That being said, in order for a building project to become certified, the building development team needs to acquire a certain number of LEED credits that accumulate all the way down to a substance level. This is where material and product data is key. There are 9 credit categories that LEED focuses on and the Materials and Resources credit category is where product and material transparency data shines. Below is the full list of credit categories:
- Integrative Process
- Location and Transportation
- Sustainable Sites
- Water Efficiency
- Energy and Atmosphere
- Materials and Resources
- Indoor Environmental Quality
- Regional Priority
What are the requirements for Materials and Resources to obtain credits?
There are 6 credit groupings within the Materials and Resources section of the LEED framework. These including the following:
- Storage and Collection of Recyclables
- Building Life-Cycle Impact Reduction
- Environmental Product Declareations
- Sourcing of Raw Materials
- Material Ingredients
- Construction and Demolition Waste Management
The 3 groupings highlighted above are key for Toxnot users to take advantage of. First, Environmental Product Declarations encourage the use of products and materials that have proof and documentation of environmentally, economically, and socially preferable life-cycle impacts. Next, Sourcing of Raw Materials rewards project teams for selecting and utilizing materials that have been sourced responsibly. Lastly, the Material Ingredients grouping celebrates the innovation of products and materials that are crafted without the use of harmful substances. Let’s dive into the details of each of these requirements.
What roles does Toxnot play in obtaining LEED credits?
Each of the 3 credit groupings highlighted above can be broken down into options with varying point levels pertaining to each option. Companies can earn up to 2 points for per category by abiding to the rules provided in the LEED framework. Here is a brief outline of what the options look like for each of the 3 credit categories that are Toxnot applicable:
|Environmental Product Declatrations||1||Use 20+ products sourced from 5+ different manufacturers that meet disclosure criteria.||1|
|Environmental Product Declatrations||2||Use products that have a compliant embodies carbon optimization report or action plan outside of LCA/EPD. Use 5+ products sourced from 3+ different manufacturers.||1|
|Sourcing of Raw Materials||1||Use products from 3+ different manufacturers meeting 1+ responsible sourcing/extraction criteria for 15%+ by cost of the total value of the building product in the project.||1|
|Sourcing of Raw Material||2||Use products from 5+ different manufacturers meeting 1+ responsible sourcing/extraction criteria for 30%+ by cost of the total value of the building product in the project.||2|
|Material Ingredients||1||Use 20+ different products from 5+ different manufacturers using specific programs to demonstrate chemical inventory to at least 1000 ppm.||1|
|Material Ingredients||2||Use products with a compliant material ingredient optimization report or action plan. Use 5+ sourced from 3+ different manufacturers.||
Toxnot provides users with a space to store their product and material data down to 100ppm using a Bill of Material or BOM structure. This outlines a hierarchy of all substances and materials that make up a product while also capturing data such as the weight of each substance, recyclability specification, chemical CAS numbers, automatic screening against hazard lists, compliance determinations, and both the generation and storage of sustainability reports.
Environmental Product Declarations: In order to qualify for EPD credits, Toxnot users can compile BOM data that they’ve acquired in their personal accounts along with data they’ve accumulated from supplier survey outreach in order to generate Environmental Product Declarations. With all of this applicable data stored in one location, Toxnot customers can easily extract information that they want to market and share with their audiences to display their sustainability progress.
Sourcing of Raw Materials: In order to qualify for credits in this category, Toxnot users have the ability to store data at the most granular form. The following columns in Toxnot BOMs allow users to input recyclability data and Toxnot even auto calculates results at a material or product level for the user.
- If the substance, material, or product is Recyclable
- % Pre-Consumer Recycled Content
- % Post-Consumer Recycled Content
- % Recycled Content
Other qualifiers for this category include the utilization of bio-based materials and the incorporation of wood products certified by the Forest Stewardship Council. Toxnot’s BOM framework gives users a platform to store this data, customize what information is important to them, and even analyze the data by using dashboarding and visualizations.
Material Ingredients: The Material Ingredients category is where Toxnot users can really show off their hard work and showcase the sustainability reporting that they’ve accomplished. Declare Labels and Health Product Declarations are generated and stored directly on the Toxnot platform and both qualify for LEED credits! Here is a larger list of material reports that Toxnot supports the creation of:
- Cradle to Cradle
- Health Product Declaration
- Living Product Challenge
- Manufacturer Inventory
Managing LEED Certification Credits with Toxnot
Though the LEED Certification process may seem daunting and overwhelming, Toxnot makes the storage and compilation of credentials much more manageable. The ultimate goal is to support the development and creation of more sustainable materials, products, and buildings that are both safe and healthy for people and the planet. Toxnot is proud to support manufacturers and suppliers in this process for the greater good!
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