As our built environment continues to grow, so does the need for healthy, resilient and positive places. With buildings and fitouts contributing to around 50% of resources used worldwide and about 10% of global greenhouse emissions - it’s time to turn our focus to products.
The Green Building Council of Australia seeks to reward the use of products that have lower environmental impact, are transparent, respect human rights, and reduce carbon content. Such products are an active part of the solution for a better future with a more healthy, resilient, positive and circular built environment.
To achieve our vision, we are already working to:
The Responsible Products Guidelines (coming soon) set out the criteria for all product certification schemes or similar initiatives (together referred to as 'initiatives') to be assessed against if they wish to be recognised by Green Star.
A Responsible Product Value (RPV) is the 'score' given to an initiative after assessment against the Responsible Products Guidelines.
A ‘Responsible Product’ is defined as a product or material that has an RPV issued by an initiative recognised by the Green Building Council of Australia.
There are 5 key categories in the Responsible Products Guidelines:
This category recognises activities that ensure the product manufacturer can account for climate, environmental, and health impacts of its product, and for ongoing improvements in the manufacturing process.
This category recognises practices that improve the health impacts of buildings.
The healthy category aims to drive change in the manufacture of products with a particular view to:
This category recognises products and manufacturers that are reducing or eliminating their impacts on our planet. The credits emphasize the impact that the supply chain has on resource consumption and climate. These impacts are noticeable in terms of the amount of energy, water, and waste consumed, as well as the use of non-virgin materials.
The positive category aims to drive:
This category recognises strategies and practices to ensure products are designed to reduce the amount of virgin materials used, and to maintain the product at its highest value for as long as possible, while eliminating waste and pollution, and regenerating nature. This category seeks to do this by:
The circular category seeks to do this by focussing on:
The leadership category recognises claims for new or innovative technologies, processes, or achievements beyond the core categories.
The claims awarded in this category may be inluded by the Green Building Council of Australia in future versions of the Responsible Products Guidelines to reward certain approaches.
Manufacturers should contact the Green Building Council of Australia to raise a technical question to achieve points in this category. This can be done via PAM.
The Responsible Products program recognises initiatives that certify products available for use in the built environment. The Green Building Council of Australia relies on third party initiatives or product certification initiatives to assess the impact that a product has against the four criteria described above.
Initiatives are required to demonstrate compliance with the minimum expectations and a selection of the technical criteria. Once these have been met, an initiative will be recognised, and an RPV will be awarded. The Green Building Council of Australia assigns RPVs to initiatives and these are passed onto the products they recognise.
See here how an RPV is used in Green Star:
While initiatives and manufacturers do not need to be members of The Green Building Council of Australia to be recognised under Green Star, there are additional benefits that may be available for those that are.Find out more about the benefits of membership here
The Responsible Products credits in Green Star award points for the use of products and materials that are certified by recognised initiatives. The credits differ from tool to tool, depending on what the tool is rating, but the process remains the same.
Green Star project teams can target the Responsible Products credits by specifying products in the Responsible Products calculator that meet or exceed the thresholds for Good or Best Practice as outlined in the individual credits.
The credits require a minimum percentage of all materials (by cost) to be “responsible products”, or products that hold one or multiple initiatives recognised by these guidelines.
All products and materials and their percentage as defined by each Responsible Product credit by cost are pooled together. For example, in the Responsible Structure Credit (below) a minimum of 50% of these materials by cost need to have an RPV of 10 or above to gain the project a credit achievement.
|An RPV can currently be used in the following tools:||In the future, an RPV will be available in the following tools:|
|Green Star - Buildings v1||Green Star Fitouts|
|Green Star - Communities v2|
A Beta version of the Responsible Products calculator has been released. Over the coming months we will work with Green Star project teams to collect feedback on the calculator and database, before release of the final version of the calculator. GBCA will announce when the final version of the calculator has been published.
The Responsible Products calculator will allow a project team with a registered Green Star project, to submit for the responsible products credits.
The Responsible Products calculator requires the project team to enter the following information:
There are two ways that products can be added to the Responsible Products calculator:
In addition to the Responsible Products calculator, the initiative score checker has been created to allow users to view the RPV for each product certification initiative as well as initiative combinations - access the score checker here
The Responsible Products database is an aggregated list of products provided by multiple initiatives; it is the dataset supporting the Responsible Products calculator (Beta version).
For GBCA account holders, access the Responsible Products database through the creation of a project here.
*Information in the database is provided by participating initiatives. Not all initiatives are able to provide this information, so it may not be a comprehensive list of all compliant products. The list is provided for project teams to assist with the Green Star submission only.
Recognition as a Responsible Product can be communicated in accordance with the Marketing Guidelines.
Becoming a member is an exciting opportunity for organisations to showcase their commitment to sustainability and gain recognition as leaders in the green building industry. Membership provides access to invaluable resources, tools, and expert guidance that can help organizations drive innovation, achieve green building certifications, and deliver projects with enhanced environmental performance.
Green Star is the Green Building Council of Australia’s sustainability rating system for the built environment. It is used to rate new and existing buildings, new fit-outs, and new precinct developments.