Select Your Strategies
Material Sourcing

The process of selecting products and materials based on environmental impact

Selecting a product or material involves much more consideration than simply how it will be used. A lot of a materials’ impact on the environment happens BEFORE it is specified and placed in a project. This impact includes how the raw materials were extracted from the earth, what the embodied energy from the manufacturing process is, and the emissions generated and energy used from transporting the material.

The green building movement has become increasingly aware of hidden energy usages and other environmental impacts associated with material selection. Life Cycle Assessment (LCA) reports are being used to understand the environmental and energy inputs and outputs of a material in all stages of its life. Environmental Product Declarations (EPD)1 are standardized life cycle reports that allow products in the same category to be compared. Using this information to inform material selection, as well as embodied energy and transportation, sustainable material sourcing can be achieved.