Houston Area Sustainability Network, September meeting

Houston Area Sustainability Network meeting on September 9th focused on "Advocating for Sustainability". Attendees heard presentations from Marina Badoian-Kriticos and Lisa Lin from City of Houston's Office of Sustainability and also Julie Hendricks, Director of EcoServices for Kirksey, giving perspectives on the importance of advocacy, especially in our roles within the sustainability profession. Subsequent to the presentation, attendees moved to smaller groups to discuss a particular topic, such as Energy, Jobs Creation, Resiliency/Low Impact Development, and Transportation. Groups met for approximately 20 minutes to talk about the advocacy priorities for each. Following the meeting conclusion, some attendees took a tour of the Kirksey LEED Certified for Existing Building office building.


Background of HASN:
The Houston Area Sustainability Network is coordinated and facilitated by EarthShare of Texas and the City of Houston's Green Office Challenge as a means of providing a forum for sustainability directors across industries and around Houston to share best practices and get to know one another. Executive Directors from EarthShare of Texas'(ESTX) member organizations, Sustainability Directors from current or future ESTX campaign partners, as well as City of Houston Sustainability Leaders convene quarterly to meet, learn and share knowledge with one another. Participants are asked to participate in an ESTX workplace giving campaign, whereby employees give to the environmental nonprofits of their choice, or participate in the Houston Green Office Challenge.


LEED Calls Out Cradle to Cradle Material Health as Leadership Standard


Recognizing the depth and rigor of the Cradle to Cradle Material Health Methodology, the U.S. Green Building Council added the Material Health Certificate from the Cradle to Cradle Products Innovation Institute as a leading standard under its Building Product Disclosure and Optimization, Material Ingredients credit. As a result, architects will be able to earn credits under LEED v4 by specifying products carrying a Material Health Certificate.

Full Cradle to Cradle certification has long been a preferred standard within LEED; the addition qualifies products carrying only the Material Health portion of certification, which is now available as a stand-alone certificate. To leverage the years of expert development and practical application that have made Cradle to Cradle Certified the respected brand it is today, the Cradle to Cradle Products Innovation Institute began offering the new certificate for Material Health in 2015. The requirements for the Material Health Certificate are identical to the material health attribute achievement level of full Cradle to Cradle certification.

The addition of the Material Health Certificate to LEED increases the flexibility for projects to earn credits for specifying products whose ingredients have been third-party verified and report human and environmental impacts. Under LEED v4, users can earn 1 point for specifying at least 20 products carrying Cradle to Cradle v3 Bronze certification or higher and, now, a Material Health Certificate at Bronze or higher. With more than 3,000 products in the Cradle to Cradle Certified registry and Material Health registry, this LEED credit is very attainable and easy to document with downloadable certificates for verification.

“The Cradle to Cradle Material Health methodology provides the third-party verification, continuous improvement pathway, and easy reporting that instills confidence in specifiers and consumers seeking meaningful information to inform their selection decisions,” said Stacy Glass, Vice President of the Built Environment at the Cradle to Cradle Products Innovation Institute. “By recognizing the Material Health Certificate in addition to full Cradle to Cradle Certification, the USGBC extends its leadership in the movement toward safer, healthier materials for the built environment.”

View all Cradle Cradle Certified products here. View all Material Health Certified products here.

More information on USGBC’s latest Quarterly Addenda to LEED can be found here.