HBN’s Transformation Targets: A better way to prioritize chemicals of concern.

HBN | May 2019 | Newsletter

We often hear that one of the greatest challenges to architects, designers, and building owners is navigating the plethora of certifications, standards, restricted substances lists (RSLs), and competing priorities. In fact, HBN’s Pharos database identified over 300. Heavy reliance on RSLs can lead to regrettable substitution (a different chemical replacement with the similar or worse toxicity or impacts). HBN took up the challenge, to move beyond the limitations of RSLs, and to help focus the entire industry on one (maybe two) chemical compound groups at a time per product type that are ripe for transformation, and to amplify our collective energies to replace these chemicals with fully disclosed, fully assessed safer alternatives. 

HBN’s Transformation Targets are product category + chemical combinations (1) that pose serious human and/or environmental health hazards, and (2) for which there exist one or more pathways for avoiding those chemicals.

HBN’s Transformation Targets Framework consists of three parts: (1) the process for identifying Transformation Targets, (2) the pathways to avoid target chemicals, and (3) the signal to the marketplace to prefer fully disclosed, fully assessed products. This strategic Framework directs manufacturers and consumers on how to accelerate the elimination of the highest-priority substances in building products. We can, collectively, transform the market. 

The process for identifying Transformation Targets describes how to analyze a rich set of data concerning product content and associated hazards, and to identify simple, actionable priorities. HBN’s initial review process resulted in naming 20 product + chemical combinations as HBN’s Transformation Targets

The Framework outlines the various pathways that can lead to transformation, steps that purchasers can take to advance down these pathways, and guidelines on clear feedback that consumers can provide to the marketplace. The Framework also articulates a continued push for fully disclosed and fully assessed products. This targeted approach reduces the struggle to balance competing priorities and focuses industry-wide efforts on some of the most important product + chemical issues by which we, as a community, can move the market towards manufacture and use of safer products.

Use HBN’s Transformation Targets today to update your product specifications, prioritize reformulation efforts, and update your supplier information request forms. Use this Framework to define optimized products as those that are fully disclosed, fully assessed, and free of target chemicals. 

See our White Paper describing this Framework and our List of Transformation Targets