Material Transparency

Photo: Amar Saleem. License: Public domain

It’s easy to select a product from a catalog without thinking about where it comes from. But if you care about hidden impacts like embodied carbon, toxic ingredients or byproducts, or social responsibility in the supply chain, a lack of information from manufacturers can hinder your selection process.

We offer tips, insights, and analysis on all these issues and more. We also look at:

  • the quality of the information that’s available to you

  • why it’s so hard to get

  • what makes it important

  • and even what to do with the data once you have it

Material Transparency

Deep Dives

Get up to speed on complex topics. You can also earn CEUs and download PDF Spotlight Reports.


Quick Takes

Jump straight to the essentials with these short explanations of green building concepts.


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  • Building Product Disclosure & Optimization (BPDO) Cheat Sheet

    Infographic

    The three Building Product Disclosure and Optimization (BPDO) credits in LEED v4 are pushing the industry into new territory. Suppliers have made significant progress on materials transparency and optimization since the release of version 4, but not enough to make all the points realistically achievable. With version 4.1, LEED has modified thresholds and simplified requirements so that all six points should be within reach for most projects.

  • EPD Quick-Start Guide: 5 Easy Steps

    Infographic

    Use these tips to get what you need from an Environmental Product Declaration (EPD), fast.

  • The 8 Shades of Greenwash: How Many Do You Recognize?

    Infographic

    Most building products these days have an environmental angle to their sales pitches. Many are legit, but as ever, you still have to watch for the telltale signs of greenwash—the practice of inventing or exaggerating the environmental benefits of a product.

  • HPD Quick-Start Guide: 5 Easy Steps

    Infographic

    How to get solid information from a Health Product Declaration (HPD), in just five steps.

Product Guidance

Unbiased information from our product experts helps you separate green from greenwash.


In The News

We break news down to the essentials and provide expert analysis.


Perspective

Thought-provoking opinions from the most trusted minds in sustainability.


Learning Resources

A wide range of education options, with automatic reporting for AIA and GBCI.


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  • Why Chemical Transparency Matters

    Feature Article

    You can’t manage what you don’t measure—especially if you don’t know it exists in the first place.

  • EPDs Are the Future of the Building Industry, Whether You Like It or Not

    Feature Article

    Environmental product declarations are taking off, but can they actually fly? Experts share the ups and downs of this promising but imperfect transparency tool.

  • Cool Products from the Latest Greenbuild Expo

    Feature Article

    We scoured the Greenbuild expo floor for the best new products and the most interesting updates. Then we whittled it down to these standouts.

  • Materials Transparency & LEED

    Webcast

    This deep dive into the three Building Product Disclosure and Optimization (BPDO) credits in LEED v4 provides the rationale for why product choices are so important, the details on how to achieve points within the three credits, and which options you shouldn't bother pursuing.

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