The Framework

HBN’s Transformation Target framework distills hundreds of thousands of data points into simple, actionable product category + chemical combinations by which we, as a community, can move the market towards safer products. 

Transformation Targets move beyond restricted substances lists to address the most significant opportunities in transforming the built environment. By pinpointing a small number of chemical groups for any given product category, and outlining a framework to work toward fully disclosed and assessed alternatives, all stakeholders can focus on the best solutions for material health challenges: avoidance, substitution, or green chemistry.

The Process: 

  1. research chemicals found in building products (using 
    HBN's Common Products Methodology research), 
  2. screen for target chemicals (using Pharos data), 
  3. prioritize based on severity of hazards, volume, and
    where/how products are used, 
  4. define Transformation Targets. 

The Pathways:

  • choose products where target chemicals have been removed (no substitution)
  • choose products where target chemicals have been replaced with functional alternative
  • substitute different product type
  • design the project to eliminate need for the product
  • promote green chemistry

The Signal to the Marketplace:

  • Manufacturers: Work towards full disclosure and full assessment
  • Specifiers and Purchasers: Ask for and prefer fully disclosed and fully assessed products

This Framework is described in detail in our white paper.

The results of our initial assessment are available here.

As we learn more about materials and their hazards and as specific industries evolve, this list will evolve, and over time we, as an industry, can systematically eliminate chemicals of concern from entire product categories. 

Transformation Targets in our Work:

Transformation Targets are integrated into HBN’s HomeFree Hazard Spectra. The spectra provide a simplified ranking of product types within a product category based on their common content and associated health hazards. The rankings take into account chemicals that are a high priority to avoid, including HBN’s Transformation Targets. Hazard Spectra for seven product categories are available in the Products section of HBN’s HomeFree site

Transformation Targets are built off of HBN’s Common Product (CP) research. CPs are descriptions of products that are not specific to any manufacturer and list the substances that are most commonly present in a product type and their associated hazards. HBN develops CPs by performing in-depth research using a wide range of publicly available sources including product literature, transparency documents, and patents. More details on the methodology can be found here. For the most current Common Product profiles and hazard information, see Pharos.

Identify your own Targets!

The process outlined above can be replicated by any industry (cleaning products, personal care, apparel, recreational equipment, food packaging) with Pharos. Build your own targets by using your current inventory of chemicals, screening them for target chemicals, then prioritizing those chemicals based on your company’s values. HBN's research team can help with this process. Please contact us at