If you’re old enough, you may remember the day before nutritional labeling was mandatory on the food we ate. In 1991, “Nutrition Facts” seemed like a strange idea. Now we often use it to compare the foods we buy. (Important note: Don’t bother looking at the Nutrition Fact label for fried pork rinds–there isn’t any!)
Fast forward to today and Declare labeling from the International Living Future Institute. Declare is similar to nutrition labeling, but for products. It’s different than nutrition labeling in one significant way, however: it’s completely voluntary.
Declare serves three groups by providing a means of complete transparency regarding the ingredients that go into a manufactured product. With Declare, there’s no hidden component that could cause a health problem or an ecological dilemma in its acquisition or processing. Manufacturers like Novalis that participate in Declare do so with a sense of pride because it chooses to fully disclose what goes into its flooring. Designers win because they can specify Novalis flooring with the added confidence that Declare provides. Declare even maintains a product database that designers can access to check for Declare-labeled products to specify. And the discerning consumer wins because she knows the Novalis LVT that goes into her family’s home is made with the right stuff.
Promoting sustainable product manufacturing
Ever since the first Earth Day back in 1970, environmental consciousness has grown – and so too has the unfortunate practice of “green washing.” Just as some foods will claim to be “diet” foods, some building products will claim to be “green,” when in fact, they’re not. Third-party validation is key. Declare is part of the Living Building Challenge and, according to the Declare website, is “widely accepted to be the most advanced green building standard in the world.”
What’s on the Declare label?
As the International Living Future Institute states, “by focusing on product ingredients, we hope to ‘level the playing field’ and create a platform for constructive conversations about human health and the ecological impacts of the decisions we make.” Included in the label are:
- Where the product is assembled
- Life expectancy and End of Life Options % (Recyclable, Landfill)
- Raw material and final assembly locations (Important in meeting Appropriate Sourcing Imperatives)
- All parts of the product and color-coded to designate potential hazards
- Temporary Red List exceptions
- Declare identifier for company and product, validations and classifications
Declare and Novalis Innovative Flooring
Novalis received its first Declare label in 2014 and was recently re-validated for its LVT products. Novalis was the first Asian LVT manufacturer to receive a Declare label and has made the program an integral part of its environmentally responsible approach to product development and manufacturing. In addition to adopting Declare, Novalis has received the Environmental Product Declaration (EPD) certification and voluntarily discloses to the Health Product Declaration (HPD) collaborative.
Want to know more about Declare?