Tarkett, a provider of sustainable flooring and sports surface solutions, and the Environmental Protection Encouragement Agency (EPEA) have developed a new product transparency tool to meet the ever-increasing demands by architects, designers and the U.S. Green Building Council (USGBC) for full disclosure of ingredients in the building products industry in North America. The new tool, Environmental and Health Statements (EHS), was introduced during an event with Dr. Michael Braungart, founder of the scientific institute EPEA International, in Washington, D.C.
An EHS is a third-party reviewed declaration of content and material assessment for building products. The material assessment and review of content is performed by the EPEA. The EHS is designed to thoroughly address ingredient disclosure, possible health and environmental impacts as well as post-use considerations. The EHS discloses, within a rating system, whether or not an ingredient may pose a potential risk to manufacturing workers or users of the product or the environment. This EHS rating system is based on the precautionary principle, is easy to understand and consistent with the Cradle to Cradle (C2C) material assessment that is widely accepted in the building and design industry. C2C is the basis for creating a beneficial footprint. This tool will be available in North America and more information can be found by contacting the Technical Services departments of Johnsonite and/or Tandus Centiva.
“You can only optimize a system once you have defined it. This definition and rating also provides a chance for suppliers to create innovations,” says Dr. Braungart. “By developing the EHS with Tarkett we are able to encourage greater transparency and provide product information to architects not currently available through other forms of documentation.”
To exceed public demand for information, EPEA used Tarkett’s closed-loop circular design approach to assess each step of the product lifecycle based on four major pillars: Good Materials, Resource Stewardship, People-friendly Spaces, and Reuse and Recycle. Using this approach, EHS provides more information on selected ingredients and resource stewardship (primarily in water systems), looks at the well-being and health of people and the environment during product manufacturing and use and addresses end-of-use with recycling and reuse to eliminate waste. It also gives an overview of the product certifications.
Founded in Hamburg, Germany, the EPEA values are based on intelligent, aesthetic and eco-effective design, and are dedicated to optimizing products within the C2C framework. Through innovation, the EPEA works with organizations to enhance the quality and value of materials and products so that they are beneficial for human health and the natural environment while improving profitability and cost effectiveness. This helps manufacturers achieve business as well as environmental and institutional goals. In 2011, Tarkett began applying C2C principles in partnership with the EPEA in the eco-design of products across all global brands.
Tarkett promotes circular design, which leads to its comprehensive offering of environmentally responsible products. The breadth of certifications, ranging from material use to manufacturing conditions, and from end-of-use practices to occupant health, ensures customers that Tarkett is focused on every aspect of sustainable production.