MILWAUKEE, WI – The Alliance for Sustainable Built Environments and the Institute for Market Transformation to Sustainability recently announced an educational partnership to advance sustainable product standards in an effort to enhance global sustainability and eliminate market confusion and greenwash.
The joint initiative will focus on the built environment, including construction materials, mechanicals, interior finishing products, and those products that support green building operations and maintenance. A marketing and education program that defines and promotes sustainable products that are certified through Life Cycle Assessment criteria will be the first initiative launched.
The Alliance is a group of industry leaders who practice and are recognized for leadership in sustainability. MTS is a nonprofit public charity of leading environmental groups, governments and companies that developed and now administers SMaRT®. SMaRT was created by MTS and stands for Sustainable Materials Rating Technology©. It is the consensus sustainable product standard and covers 80 percent of the world’s products.
“SMaRT is to products as what LEED® is to buildings,” says Mike Italiano, president of MTS. “It is a comprehensive consensus rating system with Sustainable, Silver, Gold and Platinum Certifications ranging from 28 to 160 achievable points.” SMaRT’s independent global auditing is conducted by Ernst & Young and the Redstone Group.
“The Alliance embraces third-party, product certification as a critical factor in the effective adoption of sustainability practices in the building industry,” says Craig Zurawski, executive director of the Alliance. “By using Life Cycle Assessment as the foundation of its certification, MTS raises the bar.”
Forbo Flooring, Milliken & Company and Philips Lighting, early supporters of the work of MTS and its development of sustainable product standards, are also members of the Alliance.
“SMaRT is consistent with Forbo’s corporate sustainability commitment to product Life Cycle Assessment, a SMaRT prerequisite,” says Tim Cole, director of environmental initiatives and product development for Forbo.
“As a SMaRT-certified manufacturer, Milliken recognizes the value of this rigorous certification process and its impact on global commercialization,” says Bill Gregory, director of sustainability at Milliken & Company.
Philips Lighting also is committed to SMaRT. “SMaRT provides our customers with a transparent, quantified, third-party certification of our products,” says Steve McGuire, Philips environmental marketing manager. Philips has taken a global leadership role in the reduction of mercury and the phase out of incandescent lamps, which in turn will reduce energy costs and slow man-made climate change.
According to Italiano, SMaRT has been adopted by other organizations, including the American Institute of Architects, Fireman’s Fund, Los Angeles County Community College District, Knoll, Sustainable Furnishings Council, City of Santa Monica, U.S. Conference of Mayors, and the Green Building Underwriting Standards©. “What is important to know about SMaRT is that during the process of certifying products as sustainable, Forbo, Milliken, and Knoll also achieved climate neutral status at their manufacturing facilities, which helps ensure a SMaRT-specific LEED credit as recognized by the U.S. Green Building Council and its LEED certification programs,” adds Italiano.
Market Transformation to Sustainability
MTS’ mission is to foster and accelerate the global market transformation to sustainability. MTS also sponsors the Capital Markets Partnership, a coalition of leading investors, investment banks, governments, ENGOs and countries. CMP’s Wall Street due diligence determined that SMaRT Certified Sustainable Products are more profitable, less risky and preferred by investors. CMP’s Green Building Underwriting Standard incorporates SMaRT. For MTS information, visit www.mts.sustainableproducts.com.
Alliance for Sustainable Built Environments Mission
Founded in 2003, the mission of the Alliance is to educate the marketplace and top management on the benefits of reducing the overall impact facilities have on the natural environment and on building occupants. It is committed to delivering high performance sustainable solutions for the built environment. Current members include Johnson Controls, Philips Lighting, Milliken & Company, Forbo Flooring, Kohler Co, Eaton Corp, JohnsonDiversey, Owens Corning, USG Corporation, and KONE. For Alliance information, visit www.greenerfacilities.org.