Bill Walsh | August 20, 2015
The International Living Future Institute (ILFI) will convene its first Living Product Expo next month in Pittsburgh. In addition to the much anticipated roll out of the Living Product Challenge during a pre-conference workshop, the conference organizers have created program full of leading experts at the forefront of healthy materials development who will be unveiling a new wave of innovative initiatives and programs for the first time.
We at the Healthy Building Network will be providing a first look at two new programs. I will be discussing our new collaboration with the Healthy Materials Lab at the Parsons School of Design. This project, undertaken in partnership with the Health Product Declaration Collaborative (HPDC) and Green Science Policy Institute (GSPI) is designed to accelerate the adoption of healthy materials in affordable housing, while leveraging the market power of this sector to drive product transparency and innovation. HBN’s Research Director Jim Vallette will be discussing the leading edge research methodology we bring to a new collaboration with thinkstep and Flux, a San Francisco-based startup that started as a “moon shot” project of the Google X lab, as we bridge the gap between health hazard assessment and life cycle analysis (LCA).
Attendees will also get a first look at the Chemical Footprint Project, the latest initiative of Clean Production Action (CPA), the group that pioneered the GreenScreen chemical hazard assessment tool. The footprint project is the first independent metric for measuring and comparing corporate chemicals management programs.
The Health Product Declaration Collaborative (HPDC) is also rolling out a couple of firsts at the Expo. In her first public appearance as HPDC Executive Director, Wendy Vittori will be making the first public presentation on Version 2.0 of the HPD Open Standard, and will also hold an HPDC Member reception, hosted by HPDC Board Member, Google, at their Pittsburgh office. The reception will be open to HPDC members and anyone interested in joining the HPDC.
There will also be a much anticipated panel featuring HBN’s Policy Director, Tom Lent, bringing together HBN, HPDC, CPA, Cradle to Cradle & ILFI for a progress report on the first attempt at harmonizing materials transparency and evaluation tools in order to make them work more effectively in the market. This effort, and indeed this conference is essential because the scope of the problem we face – tens of thousands of chemicals in use lacking even basic information about their impacts on human health – cannot be solved by any single program, or any one company, on its own.
When Elon Musk, founder of PayPal and Tesla Motors released Tesla’s battery patents “in the spirit of the open source movement for the advancement of electric vehicle technology” he famously said: "[T]he market is enormous. Our true competition is not the small trickle of non-Tesla electric cars being produced, but rather the enormous flood of gasoline cars pouring out of the world’s factories every day." So it is with healthier building products and evaluation tools. The flood of toxic substances flowing out of factories, and into our products, our ecosystems and our bodies, is enormous. So too is the market for healthier alternatives.
The Expo program captures the zeitgeist of transparency, collaboration and innovation that is redefining green building and the building products industry at large. And you can test drive a Tesla too.
Register today and receive a $200 discount through the discount code: HBNFRIEND.
HBN & Friends At Living Product Challenge Expo
Thursday September 17
10:45 AM The Business Case For Transparency: The Chemicals Footprint Project
3:00 PM HBN Policy Director Tom Lent : Transparency Tools and Programs to Help You
Friday September 18
10:45 AM HBN Executive Director Bill Walsh: Healthy Materials A Social Justice Imperative
10:45 AM HBN Research Director Jim Vallette: Catalyzing Data Transparency & Market Transformation Through Collaboration