Mainstreaming the Healthy Materials Movement

Volume Commitments and Updated Standards Scale the Creation and Adoption of Healthy Materials
Oct 11, 2019 4:05 PM ET
Press Release

NASHVILLE, Tenn., October 11, 2019 /3BL Media/ – The healthy materials movement began with a few intrepid designers, manufacturers and forward-thinking nonprofits asking a simple question: Why can’t every place we live, work and play be free of toxic chemicals and harmful materials? Organized by the International Living Future Institute (ILFI), this year’s Living Product Expo 2019, October 8-10 in Nashville, celebrates significant milestones and proof points on the journey to that aspirational goal: 

  • Since its inception, the healthy materials movement has rapidly expanded from a small group of groundbreaking projects to major Living Building Challenge (LBC) 4.0 volume commitments from some of the world’s most innovative and impactful organizations: Google, King County, PCC Community Markets and a group of affordable housing developers.
  • A similar revolution has taken hold in the manufacturing, architecture, engineering, and construction communities: 50 of the world’s leading manufacturers have signed on to the “LP50 Letter,” a statement demonstrating their commitment to creating healthy materials as part of the Living Product 50. In addition, 70 of the world’s leading design firms have signed the Materials Pledge, publicly stating their intent to prioritize material health as part of a holistic approach to building sustainability. The year’s Expo marks a significant milestone from the launch of the program in 2015 – 47 products are certified to the Living Product Challenge, more than double the number in 2018 and accelerating quickly.

Also announced at the event:

  • ILFI released an update to Declare, the ingredients label for building products. Declare 2.0 increases usefulness and legibility of the label, aligns with LBC 4.0, and ensures scalability. This year, Kohler, Toxnot, and ILFI announced a partnership to dramatically grow the Declare program by streamlining the process of supply chain data collection, third-party verification and label production. Manufacturers can now quickly adopt Declare across their entire portfolio of products with a more integrated and simplified process. 
  • Declare has also added embodied carbon to the label, elevating the issue of climate impact of building materials to consumers and specifiers. Armstrong Ceiling and Wall Solutions, Interface, and Superior Essex Communications are participating in the pilot.  
  • Armstrong Ceiling and Wall Solutions, one of the first adopters of the Living Product Challenge, with Imperative Certification for TECTUM Ceiling and Wall Panels, received ILFI’s Manufacturer Visionary Award for its industry leadership and commitment to transparency and healthy materials.

“While there is much further to go, progress has been remarkable in the five short years since the launch of the Living Product Expo. These key milestones mark a clear turning point on the path to a future that can ensure ‘Healthy Materials for All,” stated James Connelly, Vice President of Strategic Growth, ILFI.

About the Living Product Challenge and Expo

The Living Product Challenge re-imagines the design and construction of products to function as elegantly and efficiently as anything found in the natural world. The creation of this program kicked off a groundbreaking new event that brought together leading minds in the product industry to inspire a revolution in the way materials are designed, manufactured and delivered: the Living Product Expo. At Living Product Expo 2019 participants share and discover disruptive new ideas and technologies that are reshaping the materials landscape, accelerating the pace of innovation and making Living Products possible.

About the International Living Future Institute
The International Living Future Institute is an environmental NGO committed to catalyzing the transformation toward communities that are socially just, culturally rich and ecologically restorative. ILFI is premised on the belief that providing a compelling vision for the future is a fundamental requirement for reconciling humanity’s relationship with the natural world. ILFI operates the Living Building Challenge, the built environment’s most ambitious performance standard. It is a hub for many other visionary programs that support the transformation toward a living future.