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Authenticity, Accuracy, Transparency

Penny Bonda, FASID, LEED Fellow, HBN Board Member | November 03, 2011 | Policies

Do designers greenwash? Of course they do, both individually and collectively. Every LEED AP who hasn't a clue how to design a green project, every individual, firm, organization and government that's signed on to the 2030 Challenge but hasn't made even cursory attempts to meet its goals, is guilty.

We, the practitioner side of the g...


Greenbuild 2011: The End of Don't Tell, Don't Ask

Bill Walsh | October 04, 2011 | Policies

Everyone knows that evaluating the environmental and health impacts of building products is not simple. People often ask: What's the most difficult part? That's easy - what's most difficult is evaluating information that we don't have. Building products - unlike say, food products - are not required to disclose ingredients on the pa...


Greenbuild for Interior Designers

Penny Bonda, FASID, LEED Fellow, HBN Board Member | September 21, 2011 | Policies

It's a daunting task finding one's way around Greenbuild. I should know, I've been to them all, from the early "Membership Meetings" where the whole organization fit in one room and everyone knew each other, to the super-charged mega-conferences of recent years. This year's event in Toronto, October 4-7, will offer the usu...


Transparency Takes the LEED

Tom Lent | September 09, 2011 | Policies

The USGBC is seeking comment by next Wednesday, September 14, on an important new LEED credit that has been proposed "to increase the use of products and materials that disclose chemical ingredient data and reduce the concentrations of chemical contaminants that can damage air quality, human health, productivity, and the environment." The...


LEED 2012 Dramatically Shifts Material Selection Criteria - Comment by 9/14

Tom Lent | September 09, 2011 | Policies

With the LEED 2012 draft now open for public comment (through next Wednesday Sept 14) the USGBC is proposing a whole suite of new credits that together propose to radically change how manufacturers assess, disclose and formulate the products with which we build. As described in our Healthy Building Network newsletter today, one of the most positive...


Stop the Greenwashing

Penny Bonda, FASID, LEED Fellow, HBN Board Member | August 03, 2011 | Policies

Green products are proliferating. Great news. Unfortunately so is greenwashing - exaggeration, misrepresentations or just plain lies in green product marketing and branding, which, intentionally or not, conveys false information and impressions. Here's an example from an unnamed furniture manufacturer. "[Our furniture] is unique because [i...


LEED 2012 Proposes Content Disclosure & Red List Chemical Hazard Avoidance

Tom Lent | August 01, 2011 | Policies

"To increase the use of products and materials that disclose chemical ingredient data and reduce the concentrations of chemical contaminants that can damage air quality, human health, productivity, and the environment." So reads the intent statement of a new LEED credit proposal released today by the US Green Building Council (USGBC). Th...


The Nine Types of Greenwash

Sarah Gilberg | June 23, 2011 | Policies

Greenwash, the practice of deceptively or falsely portraying products as environmentally friendly, is pervasive in the building materials market.  Sometimes it slaps you in the face, but other times, it takes a more discerning eye to find it. A few weeks ago, I had the pleasure of attending an excellent webinar presented by BuildingGreen's...


US agency calls out Formaldehyde & Styrene for cancer

Tom Lent | June 15, 2011 | Policies

A two decade lobbying effort by industry has finally ended unsuccessfully with the US Department of Health & Human Service labeling formaldehyde as a known carcinogen. The congressionally mandated 12th Report on Carcinogens adds to assessments by a range of agencies from the state of California to EPA and the World Health Organization confirmin...