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USGBC’s new guidelines to drive transparency in the product manufacturing industry

The USGBC has released new guidance for LEED Materials & Resources Credit 4 aimed at driving more transparency in the product manufacturing industry.

While there are several existing ways project teams can achieve the Materials Ingredients credit, the options currently available focus on finished products. The new option 3 guidance focuses on rewarding manufacturer achievements related to programs that drive the environmental, health and safety management of hazardous ingredients within the supply chain. These systemic opportunities are uniquely available to manufacturers, are designed to spur innovation, and can have substantial co-benefits and synergies across broad segments of manufacturing.

The Supply Chain Optimization Working Group has identified minimum steps for product manufacturers that enables them to offer insight and transparency into their processes:

  1. Publicize guiding principles that include commitments to continual improvement, sharing of information, green chemistry and green engineering.
  2. Implement an ISO-14001-type environmental management system, with added elements for human health and safety that addresses all significant environmental and health impacts of their operations.
  3. Ensure that any direct suppliers of hazardous ingredients have corresponding environmental and health & safety management systems.

The new guidance enables building product manufacturer, that already have in place, specifically environmental management systems (EMS) such as ISO 14001 and health and safety management systems such as OHSAS 18000, to meet and document compliance with Option 3 of the LEED v4 MR credit Building Disclosure and Optimization.

To comply with this option, the building product manufacturer, and any company that supplies it with ingredients or components that are significant health hazards, must have a robust program for continual improvement in environmental management and health & safety management.

Source: USGBC

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