April 17, 2014

Green Tip – September 2012

Federal initiatives: sustainable product procurement

By Bill Griese, Tile Council of North America, LEED AP BD+C

In 2009, President Obama issued Executive Order 13514 for Federal Leadership in Environmental, Energy, and Economic Performance. This order required the federal government to demonstrate leadership in the use of sustainable technologies and environmentally-preferable materials, goods and services.

Over the past three years, Executive Order 13514 has generated several directives, including federal green purchasing programs. Through these programs the federal government has used its enormous buying power to stimulate market demand for green products. This has impacted the construction industry in a number of ways, especially as it pertains to governmental construction and product procurement.

Various new laws and parts of the Federal Acquisition Regulation (FAR) now require that agencies purchase environmentally-sustainable products. Per the National Technology Transfer Act (NTTAA) and the Office of Management and Budget (OMB) Circular A-119, federal agencies have been directed to use voluntary, consensus standards in their regulatory and procurement activities. On many occasions the government has turned to industry for these standards. Often only industries with sustainable product specifications have been considered under preliminary procurement efforts, making the establishment of the tile industry’s sustainable product standard, ANSI A138.1/Green Squared®, very relevant.

For government building projects the General Services Administration (GSA) now requires that its employees comply with the GSA Green Purchasing Plan (GPP) when selecting building products. GSA employees rely on industry sustainability standards for direction on which products to choose. Many of these standards, including ANSI A138.1/Green Squared®, are referenced in the GSA’s Performance Based P100 Program – Facilities Standards for the Public Buildings Service.

To further the goals of Executive Order 13514, the Section 13 Workgroup on Product Standards and Ecolabels, co-chaired by the GSA and the Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) was formed. This group is currently developing a report with product selection guidelines based on existing environmental sustainability standards and eco-labeling programs. If completed and released later in 2012, this report would go to the White House Council on Environmental Quality and be published in the Federal Register.

While these initiatives are centered predominantly on federal government procurement, it is likely they will have a strong influence on the greater green building community and green product selection in general. Given the direction sustainable product specification is heading and the emerging demand for industry standards, having ANSI A138.1/Green Squared® already in place is huge for our industry, as it ensures ceramic tile and related installation products can be considered for federal government projects.

Green Tip – August 2012

All Squared Away

By Bill Griese, Tile Council of North America, LEED AP BD+C

With the launching of Green Squared® earlier this year, our industry has set sail and is ready to conquer new and exciting opportunities in the sustainability marketplace. With hundreds of products already certified and a warm reception by the A&D community thus far, the program appears to be on course and running with great momentum. So, where are we with Green Squared today and what can be expected as we move through the second half of 2012 and into 2013 and beyond?

The green fourteen

As of July, 2012, 14 companies are participating in the Green Squared program. Six of those companies have products certified, and eight expect to have products certified by year end. Ten of the participating companies are manufacturers of tile, and four are manufacturers of tile installation materials. So far, only U.S. and Mexican manufacturers are participating, but it is expected that foreign manufacturers who export to the U.S. will begin applying for product certification very soon.

Unified definition of green

With Green Squared, the North American tile industry now has a unified position and consistent interpretation of what it means for a product to be green. The Green Squared Certified mark facilitates marketplace identification of products with the full range of social and ecological attributes most important to the North American green building community. But Green Squared certification is much more than a labeling tool for products. It is a valuable specification tool, one which has been much-needed so that the industry can have its most sustainable products specified into green building programs.

LEED: the tile industry is now a contender!

Perhaps the most important green building program in which the tile industry needs to be relevant is Leadership in Energy and Environmental Design (LEED®). In 2011, Pilot Credit 43 was established, and points were awarded for the use of products which were certified under industry sustainability programs. For the carpet industry, the program was NSF 140, and for the resilient floor covering industry, the program was NSF 332. At the time, the tile industry had not yet established a program like Green Squared, so it missed a golden opportunity to compete with other industries for product specification under this credit. Luckily, Pilot Credit 43 was retired in March 2012 as the U.S. Green Building Council (USGBC) began efforts to establish a new Pilot Credit, 52, in which additional sustainable product programs could be explored. Currently, the tile industry is working with USGBC, and it is likely that the use of Green Squared Certified products will soon earn points under Pilot Credit 52 and in future versions of the LEED Rating System.

Tile to join NAHB and CHPS programs

Another program in which Green Squared is making a splash is NAHB’s National Green Building Program. The National Green Building Standard is currently undergoing a major revision, and it is expected to be released by year end. In the current draft revision, points are awarded for the use of Green Squared Certified products.

Also continuing to evolve is the Collaborative for High Performance Schools (CHPS). In the CHPS master framework, points are awarded for the use of environmentally-preferable products. For carpet, these are considered products which are certified to NSF 140, and for resilient floor covering, those which are certified to NSF 332. Currently, the master framework has no mechanism for specifying environmentally-preferable tile products since it has been several years since its last revision. Fortunately, CHPS is in the process of updating this document, and they are considering the addition of Green Squared for tile. This is very important since most of the thirteen participating states update their CHPS criteria based on the master framework.

2013: Handbook section on Green/Sustainable Design

Finally, it should be noted that the 2013 version of our industry’s very own TCNA Handbook for Ceramic, Glass, and Stone Tile Installation will include a Green/Sustainable Design section in its installation details. Project specifications are so often written based on these details, and it is no different for green projects. So, it is important that appropriate standards are referenced wherever possible. Thus, the 2013 Handbook will include expanded information on Green Squared, and each detail will suggest that products which meet the Green Squared standard be specified for green building projects.

The introduction of Green Squared is very timely, especially with the growing demand for industry sustainability programs. With a strong initial participation from manufacturers, and a presence which is already being established among some of the most well-known green building programs, the industry should be in good shape as sustainability initiatives continue to grow.

Green Tip – July 2012

Understanding the Technical Criteria of Green SquaredSM/
ANSI A138.1

Section V: Innovation

By Bill Griese, Tile Council of North America, LEED AP BD+C

The ANSI A138.1 standard for sustainable tiles and tile installation materials establishes criteria for products throughout their full life cycle. Over the past several months, we’ve reviewed the first four sections of the standard. This month, we’ll have a look at the fifth and final section, Innovation.

Key in the development of sustainable products and operations are progressive thinking, technological advancement, and outstanding achievement beyond that which is required. ANSI A138.1 allows the opportunity for products to achieve conformance, in part, through their innovative achievements. This may involve exceptional performance above the requirements set forth in other sections of the standard and/or innovative performance in categories not specifically addressed by the standard.

A product may earn up to two elective credits through exceptional conformance if quantitative criteria already addressed by the standard are greatly exceeded. Usually, the magnitude to which these criteria must be exceeded is defined as one and a half times the most stringent threshold already established. Otherwise, specific requirements for exceptional conformance are defined in the standard’s appendix.

Another elective credit may be earned if a product possesses an ecological attribute not addressed by the standard, is manufactured in a facility with ecological processes not addressed by the standard, or belongs to an organization with an innovative corporate governance strategy not addressed by the standard. An ever-evolving list of approved innovations is managed by the ANSI A108 Committee which has jurisdiction over ANSI A138.1. Innovations not included in this list can be added if they are submitted to and approved by the Committee.

A fourth and final innovation elective credit may be earned upon the calculation of carbon footprint and the development of a greenhouse gas reduction strategy for a product or its manufacturing organization.

This concludes our overview of the technical criteria in ANSI A138.1. In future months, we will dive deeper into the standard’s product conformance scheme and Green Squared® certification requirements.

Green Tip – June 2012

Understanding the Technical Criteria of Green SquaredSM/
ANSI A138.1

Section IV: Progressive Corporate Governance

By Bill Griese, Tile Council of North America, LEED AP BD+C

Establishing sustainability criteria for products throughout their full life cycle, ANSI A138.1 is divided into five sections. Throughout the past several months, we’ve reviewed several different sections of the standard. This month, we’ll have a look at the fourth section, Progressive Corporate Governance.

Mandatory for conformance to the standard, a manufacturer shall have a written and implemented social responsibility strategy which addresses at least the following:  labor law compliance, forced labor prohibitions, child labor prohibitions, environmental regulation compliance, health and safety regulation compliance, and community involvement.

To obtain an elective credit, the manufacturer may choose to participate in a voluntary safety program such as OSHA Safety Consultation, Voluntary Protection Program (VPP), or OHSAS 18001.

It is mandatory that all green marketing claims made by manufacturers be in compliance with the Federal Trade Commission (FTC) fair packaging and labeling act Green Guides (publicly available) which indicate how the FTC applies Section 5 of the FTC Act, prohibiting unfair or deceptive acts or practices in environmental claims.

As an elective for conformance to the standard, a manufacturer may choose to regularly engage in its community, building upon the community involvement plan established in its mandatory social responsibility strategy.

Also elective for conformance to the standard, a manufacturer may publicly disclose on an annual basis one of the following: utility consumption, registered Environmental Management System (EMS) data, or Life Cycle Assessment (LCA) data.

Another elective credit is available if a manufacturer provides a detailed sustainability report each year, conforms to the requirements of the Global Reporting Initiative (GRI), or is selected for inclusion in the Dow Jones Sustainability Index (DJSI).

If a manufacturer has at least one facility with LEED® or Green Globes certification an elective credit is also available.

Finally, manufacturers are required to have an assurance program for current and continued conformance to ANSI A138.1/Green Squared for all pertinent products.

Next month, we will review the criteria of the fifth and final section of ANSI A138.1, Innovation.

KEEPING IT GREEN – May 2012

Green SquaredSM Certified products debut at Coverings

After five years developing Green SquaredSM (ANSI A138.1), an all-encompassing multi-attribute sustainability standard and certification program for tile and tile installation materials, the first five tile manufacturers with certified sustainable products were announced at Coverings:  Crossville, Daltile, Interceramic, Ironrock, and Porcelanite-Lamosa.  Bonsal American, Florida Tile, LATICRETE, MAPEI, Marazzi, Quarry Tile Company, StonePeak, TEC, and Vitromex expect to have Green Squared Certified products by year end.

Crossville has the distinction of being the first manufacturer to achieve Green Squared Certification across all its U.S.-manufactured porcelain product lines and for its manufacturing processes. Because the company’s processes are certified, all products manufactured by those processes are compliant.

In addition, Dal-Tile Corpora-tion’s plants in the U.S., and Monterrey, Mexico were evaluated by Underwriters Laboratories-Environment (ULE), to certify that American Olean and Daltile-manufactured products meet the industry’s toughest green standards.

Only those products independently evaluated and certified by a third party may bear the Green Squared Certified mark, making it easy for specifiers and consumers to select sustainable products and build sustainable tile systems.

Currently, the approved third-party Green Squared certifiers are NSF International, Scientific Certification Systems, and UL Environment. The certifiers conduct worldwide operations and are available to conduct Green Squared certifications wherever tile is manufactured.

For full information about Green Squared, including sustainability criteria, visit www.tilethenaturalchoice.com, and follow @Green_Squared on Twitter.

All Crossville product to  contain recycled content

Crossville Inc. has announced it is the first and only tile manufacturer in the U.S. “to achieve certification of its waste recycling programs through Scientific Certification Systems (SCS), an independent, third-party certifier of recycled claims,” stated John E. Smith, Crossville’s president and CEO. Now all tile produced by Crossville® will contain 4% certified recycled content of pre-consumer, fired sanitary ware from TOTO, the world’s largest manufacturer of sustainable, luxury plumbing products, in addition to varying percentages of its own filtrate and fired waste. This material from TOTO has been recently certified by SCS as part of Crossville’s Fired Waste Process, marking the latest development in Crossville’s Recycling Processes program.

SCS has verified that through these recycling processes, Crossville annually recycles approximately 12 million pounds of previously land-filled filtrate, fired tile and pre-consumer sanitary ware, making Crossville a net consumer of waste, consuming more manufacturing waste than it generates. In addition, the volume of finished goods Crossville ships now exceeds the amount of raw materials it extracts from the earth for use in manufacturing.

For full information, visit www.crossvilleinc.com, call 800-221-9093 for samples and follow Crossville, Inc. on Facebook and Twitter.

GREEN TIP – May 2012

Understanding the Technical Criteria
of Green SquaredSM/ANSI A138.1

Section III: End-of-Product-Life Management

By Bill Griese, Tile Council of North America, LEED AP BD+C

Establishing sustainability criteria for products throughout their full life cycle, ANSI A138.1 is divided into five sections. Throughout the last two months, we’ve reviewed the first two sections of the standard. This month, we’ll have a look at the third section, End-of-Product-Life Management.

This section of the standard opens with the following preface:

Inherently, tile products are durable, inert, and intended to have life spans as long as the buildings in which they are installed. They are engineered to serve as permanent finishes capable of outlasting multiple generations of building occupants. Tile product end-of-life management is pertinent to building demolition waste and small quantities of waste generated during construction.  

Although a tiled finish is inherently durable and typically desirable for a lifetime, there are some scenarios where end of product life must be addressed. Thus, end-of-product-life management elective options in ANSI A138.1 are intended for instances where buildings are demolished, scrap waste is generated during construction, or an occasional remodel occurs.

The first end-of-product-life management elective option involves clean-fill eligibility of a product. To satisfy this elective, a manufacturer shall provide documentation verifying that a product is inert and solid, such that it can potentially be considered along with other eligible construction and demolition debris for state and local Clean Fill acquisition initiatives.

The second end-of-product-life management elective option involves end-of-product-life collection plans. To satisfy this elective, the manufacturer shall establish and implement a plan which involves the collection, processing, and recycling or re-tasking of its products for other purposes once the products’ useful life is completed.

Next month, we will review the criteria of the next section of ANSI A138.1, Progressive Corporate Governance.

First Ever Certified Sustainable Tile Products Unveiled

After 5 years developing an all-encompassing multi-attribute sustainability standard for tile and tile installation materials, the very first certified sustainable products are being announced.

Cumulatively, eight major manufacturers of tile and installation materials have hundreds of products that are already certified or will be certified by the start of Coverings on April 17, with yet even more of their products still in the evaluation process and expected to earn certification this year. At least six additional manufacturers have started the certification process for hundreds more products that are expected to be certified within the year.

According to Eric Astrachan, Executive Director of the Tile Council of North America, “This early adoption, within just a few months of the passage of the Green Squaredsm ANSI standard, is a clear indication of the commitment North American manufacturers have made to sustainable manufacturing and sustainable products, in many cases starting years ago when conversations began regarding an industry standard for sustainability. Manufacturers looked at the breadth of their operations and made significant improvements to meet the multi-attribute criteria of the standard. They are to be congratulated for their willingness to do so, and their willingness to bring in outside certifiers to verify and substantiate their claims.”

Only those products independently evaluated and certified by a third party may bear the Green Squared Certified mark, making it easy for specifiers and consumers to select sustainable products and busustainable tile systems. Manufacturers with products already certified are Crossville, Ironrock, and Porcelanite Lamosa. Additionally, Daltile, Interceramic, Laticrete, Mapei, and Marazzi expect to receive notification of product certifications within the next two weeks.

Bonsal American, Florida Tile, Quarry Tile Company, StonePeak, TEC, and Vitromex expect to have Green Squared Certified products by year end.

Green Squared (ANSI A138.1) is the industry standard for sustainable tile and tile installation products. Because sustainability shouldn’t be defined by a single attribute, Green Squared takes a multi-attribute, balanced approach by establishing criteria for environmental and social issues alike. Covered by the standard are environmental product characteristics, environmental product manufacturing and raw material extraction, end of product life management, progressive corporate governance, and innovation.

To be in conformance with Green Squared, a product must meet all mandatory requirements and a specified number (depending on product type) of elective requirements, providing a total package that reflects the full range of environmental considerations.

Products covered by Green Squared include ceramic and glass tiles, grouts, mortars, trowelable membranes, polymer additives, backer boards, underlayments, and crack isolation and waterproof membranes. By seeking out Green Squared Certified products, specifiers can put together total sustainable systems when it comes to tile installations.

The ANSI A108 Accredited Standards Committee representing green building stakeholders, tile consumers, manufacturers, distributors, contractors, and many other relevant interests approved Green Squared at the end of 2011.

Currently, the approved third party Green Squared certifiers are NSF International, Scientific Certification Systems, and UL Environment. The certifiers conduct worldwide operations and are available to conduct Green Squared certifications wherever tile is manufactured.

For green news, links, and updates, please visit www.tilethenaturalchoice.com and follow @Green_Squared on Twitter.
For a high-resolution image of the Green Squared Certified logo or the Sustainability Criteria Chart for use with your news story, contact Andrew Whitmire ([email protected]).

Sustainable Tiles and Installation Material Manufacturers Can Now Earn Green Squared Certification through NSF International

ANN ARBOR, Mich. (February 9, 2012) – NSF International, an independent global organization that writes public health standards and certifies products for food, water and consumer goods, now offers Green SquaredSM Certification for sustainable ceramic tiles, glass tiles and installation materials. NSF’s Sustainability division is a leading developer of sustainable standards and certification programs for building and furnishing products such as furniture, wallcoverings, and furnishing fabrics, carpets and flooring.

Developed by the Tile Council of North America (TCNA), Green Squared certification provides accurate, third-party verified information on the environmental impacts of certified tile products. Green Squared certification through NSF Sustainability helps manufacturers and suppliers of tiles and installation materials distinguish their products from competitors, earn preferred vendor status by environmentally-minded consumers and companies, and demonstrate compliance to state and federal purchasing requirements.

The NSF certification process includes a comprehensive documentation review and onsite facility audit to verify conformance to the standard upon which the Green Squared certification program is based, ANSI A138.1 American National Standard Specifications for Sustainable Ceramic Tiles, Glass Tiles and Tile Installation Materials. This consensus-based standard requires an evaluation of products in five categories of performance: Product Characteristics, Manufacturing, Corporate Governance, Innovation, and End-of-Life.

“Green Squared provides a standard of excellence in sustainability for the entire industry as it covers not just tile products but also the materials required for their installation,” said Bill Griese, TCNA Standards Development and Green Initiative Manager. “We are pleased that the certification bodies we have participating in Green Squared are leaders in the realm of developing sustainability standards and certification programs for interior furnishing products, and these organizations have the expertise and industry experience necessary to provide high quality certifications under the Green Squared program.”

“Green Squared and NSF Sustainability certification programs are the most credible certifications available in the marketplace,” said NSF Sustainability Director Tom Bruursema. “Architects, designers and consumers can now easily identify products carrying the Green Squared and NSF Sustainability marks. NSF certified sustainable products such as furniture, carpets, flooring, wallcoverings, furnishing fabrics, and now tiles and tile installation materials, help companies and consumers meet their sustainability goals and demonstrate their commitment to the environment.”

Tiles covered by the Green Squared program may include mosaic, quarry, pressed floor, glazed wall, porcelain, specialty, cast glass, fused glass and low-temperature coated glass tiles. Installation materials may include mortar adhesives, mastic adhesives, reactive resin adhesives, grouts, tile backer units, crack isolation membranes, waterproofing membranes, water containment membranes and sound reduction membranes.

For additional information on Green Squared contact Dennis Gillan at 734.476.2543, [email protected] or visit nsfsustainability.org.

The Green Tip

Once considered the “green standard” of the sustainability movement, recycling has become such a common practice that it is essentially considered standard operating procedure. While the importance of recycling should not be minimized, businesses and individuals committed to a more sustainable future are moving beyond recycling to embrace the zero waste movement. In the zero waste movement, waste is not only recycled, but virtually eliminated through more efficient processes and introducing materials back into the marketplace in a usable form in addition to conventional recycling.

In addition to zero waste processes, many organizations now strive to be net consumers of waste, meaning, they consume more waste than they produce. They do this by introducing waste generated by other industries into their own processes and therefore diverting them from landfill.

As zero waste and net consumption of waste become increasingly mainstream, environmentally-minded designers and consumers alike will begin to make product and installation choices based on which organizations incorporate these processes into their sustainable initiatives. To learn more about applying the principles of zero waste, visit the following resources:

  • www.zerowasteamerica.org/
  • www.zerowaste.com
  • http://myzerowaste.com