Manufacturers Find Their Voice with the Living Product 50
It might seem like manufacturers and their representatives are constantly talking to the design community. But the message isn’t exactly unified; in fact, companies are competing for time, attention, and dollars. Is there a way for manufacturers to get together as a group and have productive, two-way conversations with building professionals about the future of green building products?
Now there is: it’s called the Living Product 50 (LP 50).
It began in 2015 for manufacturers interested in creating “regenerative products,” according to Alexandra Muller, manager of the Living Product Challenge for the International Living Future Institute (ILFI). But with 40 members and counting, the effort has become something more. It’s no longer just about the Living Product Challenge—the only requirements are investment in at least one transparency program and attendance at three meetings a year—and the group doesn’t plan to stop at 50 members. It’s now “a space for demonstrating what it is to be a leader,” said Muller, and also a way to “use that collective voice to communicate with customers and supply chains to accelerate the rate of change and really build the green building movement.”
The group has already come out with one major communiqué: a letter to architecture firms explaining that continued investment in sustainability would not be possible without more follow-through from the design community in specifying the relevant products. Now it’s time to do even more, though, says Annie Bevan, one of the leaders of the group and global head of sustainability for Superior Essex Communications. “We made commitments in that letter,” she said, and LP 50 has now “evolved past being a collective voice” and into providing tracking for meeting those commitments. The group will release a report on where manufacturers are with their commitments one year later. It is also moving forward with a “Living Supplier 50” subgroup designed to give a collective voice to suppliers as well.
Last but not least, the group also provides mutual support, according to Bevan. “It’s wonderful to have a group of peers to have communications with that are battling issues together,” she said. “Some are competitors, but all of us want the same thing, which is a more sustainable future.”
The group is actively seeking more participants.
For more information:
Living Product 50
Published January 7, 2019