Pictured: Bill Walsh, Founder and President; Jim Vallette, Director of Research; Robin Guenther, HBN Board Member.
I'd like to take the opportunity to tell you about three speaking engagements HBN staff and board have at the Living Product Expo in Pittsburgh this September 13-15.
HBN Founder & President Bill Walsh will join Dana Bourland, Vice President of Environment at The JPB Foundation, Kim Glas, Executive Director, Blue Green Alliance, and Amanda Sturgeon, CEO, International Living Future Institute on Wednesday, September 14 * 10:00am - 11:30am * to discuss "Creating a Healthy Materials Economy for All".
It is an unfortunate fact that the environmental toxins pervasive in our buildings often have the greatest impact on the most vulnerable populations. Pregnant women and children under two suffer the greatest impacts from exposure, yet our hospitals and health care products, meant to help them heal, are commonly made with toxic inputs themselves. Affordable housing projects are often constructed of substandard materials, while the production and disposal of toxic chemicals are often co-located next to lower income communities. Furthermore, lower income individuals are often the ones working the lower paid jobs in these industries. Retooling our manufacturing industries to remove toxic chemicals is not only critical for protecting the environment and public health, it is a social justice imperative. Three organizations, funded by the visionary JPB foundation, are working together across different markets to ensure that efforts in green chemistry and sustainable design benefit our most vulnerable populations. Join this panel discussion to learn how we can all contribute to creating a healthy materials economy for all.
HBN Research Director Jim Vallette will join Feliks Bezati,Product Sustainability Director, Tarkett North America, and Suzanne Drake, Research Director, Perkins+Will on Thursday, September 15 * 3:00pm - 4:30pm * at the session "A Frank Conversation: PVC, Transparency and Recycling".
The plastics industry has responded to the market's demand for more sustainable plastics by including more recycled content, and some manufacturers eliminating many toxic additives from PVC. Although building projects are a good place to reuse many types of waste, some recycled materials can introduce legacy pollutants into new, cleaner formulations. Can PVC ever be considered a clean building material? How has Cradle to Cradle methodology driven product design? Can waste streams be used in new products? What is the tolerance if any for legacy chemicals? Is there a framework that could help the market make the best choices? Join us in a frank conversation about the current state of PVC and recycled plastics in buildings and how designers tasked with healthier design are dealing with both on projects.
HBN Board Member Robin Guenther, Principal of Perkins+Will and Senior Advisor to the non-profit Health Care Without Harm, will be a keynote speaker on Wednesday, September 14 * 8:30am - 9:30am.
Solving for Pattern: Building Health - An inspirational and occasionally humorous exploration of WHY it is imperative to transform materials (they are making us sick!), sharing A VISION of a living, healthy, transparent and restorative materials economy, and how our materials choices TODAY can make that vision a reality.
Use HBN's network discount code for 10% off of registration (HBN10). For more information and to register, visit http://livingproductexpo.org.
We hope you will join us there!
About the Healthy Building Network:
Healthy Building Network works to reduce the use of hazardous chemicals in building products as a means of improving human health and the environment. It performs independent, foundational research and product evaluations and develops tools to support chemical hazard assessment and product decision management. HBN's programs and research have received numerous industry awards including the US Green Building Council Leadership in Advocacy Award, the US Environmental Protection Agency Environmental Award for Outstanding Achievement and the Healthy Schools Network Environmental Hero Award. To learn more, please visit www.healthybuilding.net.