The Green Standard is recruiting architectural and design firms to be part of a campaign to green our economy, and our buildings, by transforming how products are designed and developed, as well as how they are evaluated, specified and purchased.
By agreeing to use 21st century tools like the Gaia Product Profile providing a visual summary of diverse types of product performance information found in a third-party certified Environmental Product Declaration, you receive free membership for one year. This entitles your firm to identify one professional to participate free of charge in The Green Standard's Green Purchasing Accredited Professional Training Program, being designed to complement the LEED AP Program.
Green is the fastest growing segment of the building and design industry, fueled in large part to awareness of how carbon output affects climate change. While conversations about the impact of the built environment on global warming have focused largely on carbon footprints, environmental and human health is impacted by many other factors.
To achieve balance in sustainable design and development, architects and designers need to embrace a holistic approach to production and consumption that also considers economic and social impacts. Equilibrium can be achieved, in part, by the use of Environmental Product Declarations (EPDs) to give a complete picture of a product from cradle to cradle. They are an important part of the emerging global product information system that architects and interior designers are positioned to break new ground in advancing by being Sustainability Change Agents.
As specifiers and purchasers of a building's core & shell, as well as interior finishes and furnishings, design professionals can take the lead in changing the way products are developed by pushing for the manufacture of goods that withstand the rigors of ISO-compliant EPDs. The Green Standard, a not-for-profit organization founded in 2000 to advance sustainable production and consumption using life-cycle based resources, will help champion the A&D community's efforts with its Sustainability Change Agent program, part of its BRIGHT GREEN BRIGHT FUTURE campaign that was launched at Greenbuild 2008. As a Sustainability Change Agent, your firm will be recognized as a committed environmental leader that uses emerging systems such as ISO-compliant EPDs, which provide a holistic picture of a product's environmental performance.
The use of EPDs greatly reduces confusion regarding technical information by simplifying and standardizing the format for communication. Rather than having to identify 10 or more different documents for the product and environmental performance information, it is available in one easy to understand, verified document such as The Green Standard's Gaia Product Profile.
Product EPDs also can help you toward achieving points for LEED and Green Globe certification. In essence, EPDs help you streamline documentation and free up time staff time to concentrate on improving building design and performance.
As a Sustainability Change Agent, you can demand the credibility and transparency that is best provided by an EPD based on a product Life Cycle Assessment (LCA). You can make it clear to your vendors that it is no longer sufficient for them to make claims that are not certified to a transparent standard by an expert. At the 2009 annual meeting of The Green Standard, you'll meet other Change Agents who are helping to transform production and consumption to be sustainable. And you'll be contributing to a BRIGHT GREEN, BRIGHT FUTURE.
To participate as a Sustainability Change Agent, e-mail Ellen_Hall@TheGreenStandard.org, director of communications, with the following statement on your firm's letterhead, dated and signed with your name and title:
"Our firm recognizes the added value that Environmental Product Declarations (EPDs) bring to the product evaluation and selection processes, providing us with a broad range of product performance information verified by experts. We are committing to give preferential consideration to the products of manufacturers providing EPDs products with EPDs as we believe this tool will help us all use the common language and common metrics needed to engage in best practices in green purchasing."