News & Opinions
The latest news and insights from Hanley Wood’s outspoken experts and key thought-leaders throughout the residential and commercial design and construction industry.
Balancing People, Planet, and Profit: The Challenges of Green Manufacturing
Katie Weeks / ECOHOME / July 24, 2013
The emergence of green building as a wide-ranging, multibillion dollar industry over the past two decades has dramatically reshaped the day-to-day operations of many building product manufacturers. “There’s no question that the green building market transformation has had a huge impact on building materials,” says Scott Miller, director of sustainability and product affairs at Knauf Insulation. “Anyone that says it didn’t is lying to you.”
For some manufacturers, decisions are driven by a corporate sustainability mandate, while other manufacturers seek the financial benefits of more efficient processes that use fewer resources and raw materials. Some companies are driven by the demand for third-party certifications and more transparency as architects and builders seek in-depth information on material content and toxicity via lifecycle assessments (LCAs), environmental product declarations (EPDs) and Health Product Declarations (HPDs).
Recognizing the complexity of greening the building product landscape, ECOHOME recently gathered a select group of manufacturers in Washington, D.C., for the Vision 2020 Manufacturers’ Council to gain from-the-trenches insight on how some of the industry’s leading companies are working to improve their environmental footprints. Over the course of one day, sustainability representatives from the eight sponsor companies of ECOHOME’s Vision 2020 program (see sidebar at left for a full list of attendees) talked about the opportunities and challenges they face in moving the manufacturing industry forward on the path to a more sustainable future.