Need help choosing safe products for green buildings? UL Product Lens chemical disclosure program now accepted for LEED credit

by Brianna Crandall — March 24, 2017 — UL (Underwriters Laboratories), a global safety science leader, recently announced that the Product Lens chemical disclosure program has been recognized under the Building Product Disclosure and Optimization — Material Ingredients credit by the U.S. Green Building Council’s (USGBC) Leadership in Energy and Environmental Design (LEED) green building program.

According to UL, LEED is referenced in project specifications for 71% of projects valued at $50 million and over. Acceptance in the LEED certification program is another validation that UL’s Product Lens program provides greater context with information that increases the value and usability of chemical disclosure documents, says the group.

UL’s Product Lens program was developed to address the needs of architects and designers seeking more transparency about the impacts of chemicals in products. Much of this demand is driven by green building standards and the need for improving the understanding of hazards and decision-making. The Product Lens program was designed specifically with LEED v4 in mind, engaging architecture and design (A&D) professionals, assessors and manufacturers in the stakeholder process in order to balance the needs in the marketplace with the rigor of the program.

The Product Lens program adds context and clarity by creating even more transparency for results throughout the life cycle and adding in exposure indicators to help a user make a more informed decision. The program is a result of collaboration between UL Environment, MBDC and the Cradle to Cradle Products Innovation Institute, with the Product Lens program basing the chemical assessment on the Material Health Assessment Methodology from the Cradle to Cradle Certified Products program.

This harmonization of base methods stemmed from the needs in the marketplace and by demand drivers to avoid duplicative or conflicting methods, notes UL. The tool was designed with the input from 15 architect and designer firms in order to best provide information that would be useful in decision-making.

Product Lens offers the disclosure requested in a manner that communicates relevant information combined with third-party credibility. The result is an easy to understand solution for the product transparency demands in the marketplace today.

Product Lens reports are available in SPOT, UL’s sustainable product database.