Support sustainability in materials manufacturing by specifying and using materials from manufacturers whose practices increase energy efficiency, reduce resource consumption and waste, and minimize negative effects on human health and the environment.
The requirements apply to manufacturers of new products purchased for use on site. Rocks, plants, soils, salvaged or reused, or refurbished materials are covered in other credits and are excluded from the calculations for this credit.
Option 1: Advocate for sustainable materials manufacturing (1 point)
Submit a letter to all materials manufacturers asking them to perform, track, and disclose sustainable practices.
Option 2: Support manufacturers that disclose data on sustainable practices (3 points)
Obtain 25 percent of the total applicable materials cost from businesses that complete one of the following actions:
- Report annual environmental performance via the Global Reporting Initiative (GRI) or equivalent
- Conduct and publish a peer-reviewed full life-cycle assessment (LCA) or an environmental product declaration (EPD) for the product
- Set and publicly announce specific goals to reduce, by at least 25 percent (per unit product or equivalent basis) over a five-year period, the company’s performance metrics in the following areas:
- Use of energy, water, and toxics
- Releases of key pollutants to air and water
- Disposal of hazardous and non-hazardous wastes
Option 3: Support manufacturers that achieve significant improvements in sustainable practices (5 points)
Obtain 25 percent of the total applicable materials cost from businesses that employ and document at least three of the five achievements below. Percentages are based on cost. If multiple manufacturers are involved in the development of a product, the requirements apply to the manufacturer responsible for producing or assembling the final product.
Sustainable manufacturing achievements:
1. Reduce emissions:
- In at least two of the following three categories, document at least 50 percent reduction (normalized, per unit product or equivalent basis) in the company’s direct environmental impacts over the most recent 10-year period where data are available.
- Emission of hazardous air pollutants (per U.S. Clean Air Act or local equivalent for projects outside the United States)
- Emission of toxic water pollutants (per U.S. Clean Water Act or local equivalent for projects outside the United States)
- Generation of hazardous and non-hazardous waste (per U.S. Resource Conservation and Recovery Act or local equivalent for projects outside the United States).
2. Reduce or offset greenhouse gas emissions:
- The product manufacturer demonstrates that the three lowest years for carbon emissions (or global warming potential equivalent, per unit of product) in the previous 10 years are at least 25 percent better than its corresponding 10-year average (per unit of product) OR the product manufacturer purchases carbon offsets from a legally binding trading system that provides independent third-party verification for 25 percent of its carbon emissions (or global warming potential equivalent).
3. Reduce energy consumption:
- Demonstrate that the manufacturing process per unit of product consumes 25 percent less energy than the industry average. Consult the National Institute of Standards and Technology Building for Environmental and Economic Sustainability (BEES), National Renewable Energy Laboratory (NREL) U.S. Life-Cycle Inventory Database, or Commercial Buildings Energy Consumption Survey for industry-specific data (see Resources section).
4. Use renewable energy sources:
- Use on-site renewable energy sources to meet 10 percent of electricity demands OR engage in at least a four-year contract for the purchase of 20 percent of electricity from renewable sources for the facility at which the product is made.
5. Reduce use of potable water:
- Use potable or other natural surface or subsurface water resources for less than 25 percent of total water consumption during manufacturing for the product line specified (i.e., non-potable sources are used to meet 75 percent of water consumption).
- Identify and select materials from manufacturers that actively implement better business practices to reduce negative impacts to human health and the environment. For example, a site could meet the low point requirements for this credit by selecting wooden benches (for 10 percent of total costs) from a manufacturer that meets the requirements for reduced potable water and energy use, and selecting concrete (for 15 percent of total costs) from a manufacturer that has conducted a LCA and uses at least 10 percent renewable energy.