Category Archives: net positive cities

NEW FRONTIERS for Global GreenTag International (GGTI) 2019

By Mary-Lou Kelly – Managing Director
What Global Leadership Direction does GGTI want to take as a business in 2019?

This was a key question we asked ourselves after participating in the 4th Assembly of the United Nations Environment Assembly in Nairobi, Kenya during March 2019, where 100 Environment Ministers,  Advisors and Business Leaders convened to discuss solutions to the current state of the planet, under the framework of the UN 17 Sustainable Development Goals (SDG’s)*.

Global GreenTag International (GGTI) offers key solutions to these current planetary problems we are facing within Sustainable Production and Manufacturing. The assessment of a product’s Life Cycle Impacts (and benefits) provides the data in which we can assess the standard or level of product manufacturing.  It is also through this process of understanding Life Cycle Analysis (LCA), i.e., both Life Cycle Impact Analysis (LCIA) and Life Cycle Benefit Analysis (LCBA), that a manufacturer’s next generation product could be developed or recognised to have less impact, indeed potentially provide cyclic resource, climate, health and/or ecologic benefits . With GGTI having robust, scientific standards, we offer a high level transition platform by which manufacturers can play an even more vital role to begin the journey back to transforming the health of our natural ecosystems that need nurturing and restoration.

What can we now do in parallel with Product Certification?

The deeper question is, how can we together go beyond our own business limitations of ‘casting our marketing nets’ wider into a global market and reaching an expanded audience, which remains fundamental to Business Growth and Opportunities?  What might truly stretch us as a Global Business, and what are we truly willing to take responsibility for in our pursuit of excellence? To be truly Great Leaders who are continually learning we must ‘dig deeper’ and change and restore the very foundations that provide us with the resources that supported our creativity for products in the first instance. Beyond Global Marketing and expansion, GGTI (and its partners) choose to participate in and action the following initiatives:

  • Come together with our science & share our findings and data in an equitable way where we all benefit;
  • Develop new ‘cyclic economy’ and ‘net positive’ product metrics like LCARate™ and LCBA;
  • Develop world first certification types and unique transparency reporting for products;
  • Influence national policy and legislation with these findings to support decision making at its highest governance level. This would best be done as a collective; and, in addition to this
  • Action a NEW GLOBAL PROJECT that Global GreenTag International (GGTI) is launching around a concept called Earth Jurisprudence – defined as ‘law and human governance that is based on the fact that humans are only one part of a wider community of beings and that the welfare of each member of that community is dependent on the welfare of the Earth as a whole’.  The GGTI project involves specifically; Restoration of the Natural Ecosystems and the Legacy of the Protection of the Rights of Nature with the aim of having this written into Constitutional and International Law.

GGTI’s very original intent has always been  the protection and preservation of the planet’s natural ecosystems and now GGTI will endeavour to fulfil that mission with this New Global Project.

What goes beyond our own global marketing?

Going forward, our intention is to share and work as a collective to enact change and to restore the very life force that sustains us all. A life force that has provided us all with the energy to be as creative as we are today in what we can and do manufacture.

As the United Nations slogan rightly says… We are all in this together, we truly are, and if we can partner and work together I KNOW WE CAN DO THIS.  From Business as Usual Products, LCA/LCBA, Circular Economy, and Net Positive Ecosystems/Biodiversity to Earth Jurisprudence, these are the five rings of the Ecological Olympics, and we here at GGTI are embracing the full life cycle of the manufacturing and production of products. We are deepening and expanding our Global Service and Legacy and we want to inspire you to do the same and invite you to work with us for the Love of this Beautiful Planet and its Future.

Enjoy your amazing day gifted to you by the Natural Systems.

~ Mary-Lou

* The UN 17 SDG’s outlines a comprehensive Planetary Strategic Plan till 2030

 

MARY-LOU KELLY Managing Director Mary-Lou Kelly co-founded Global GreenTag International with CEO and Program Director David Baggs and the Global GreenTagCertTM green product rating and ecolabel program, which was Australia’s first ACCC approved Certification Mark in the green building sector.

Mary-Lou is also CEO and Co-founder of Ecospecifier Global, a service that she conceptualized in 2002 and remained pivotal in the conception and strategic development of the company, since its launch in 2003 and its subsequent expansion throughout Australasia, Middle East, SE Asia, Sth Africa and China to become one of the world’s most recognised and respected sources for the building industry of eco-product information and sustainability knowledge and the recipient of numerous major awards.  Mary-Lou was the driving organizational and management force behind the creation, formation, financial and other non-technical aspects of Ecospecifier that turned the company into a million-dollar plus turnover business inside six years. The Ecospecifier resource websites went free-to-air in 2011 after eight years to help accelerate the uptake of green materials in the built environment sector.

GLOBAL GREEENTAG Global GreenTag Certifications, Declarations and Verifications take deep scientific health and sustainability assessments and turn them into intuitive product ratings and reports to simplify the A&D and Construction sectors’ green product decisions. Global GreenTag International Pty Ltd is an internationally recognised, multi-award-winning Type 1 (Third Party) Ecolabelling, Product Certification, Environmental Product Declaration (EPD) and Product health Declaration (PhD) program operator based in Australia, but with offices and representation also in South Africa, Mainland China, Hong Kong, Taiwan, Malaysia, the Americas (Canada, USA and Latin America). Global GreenTag programs are formally recognised in WELL™, BREEAM International, EarthCheck®, Green Star®, LOTUS® and the Malaysian Government’s MyHIJAU program and compliant with credit requirements in LEED® (PhDs and EPDs), and BREEAM® (EPDs).

Global GreenTag Flips The Focus On Negative Impacts To Positive!

The Global GreenTag and Evah Institute team’s delivery of three papers at the SETAC Europe conference in Brussels last month were warmly received for their unique focus to start measuring positive benefits of greener products and how they progress towards true sustainability.

GreenTag has been committed for some time to develop a novel new system called Life Cycle Benefit Analysis (LCBA) in association with the Evah Institute. Airing the idea for the five day European SETAC (Society of Environmental Toxicology and Chemistry) forum, drew positive interest from the SETAC community.

David Baggs, Global GreenTag’s CEO and Program Director delivered the paper: Driving ‘Beyond LCA’ Metrics for Net Positive Cities. 

Delwyn Jones, Director of the Ecquate Evah Institute, presented Positive LCA Factoring Planetary Boundaries.

Mathilde Vlieg, Product Assessor with Global GreenTag, continued with the focus of extending LCA practices and presenting the paper: Forest Product LCA: Carbon Form, Fire, Fuel and Fate Rules.

In greater detail, the three papers presented opened discussion for a greater scope using LCA  in the following areas:

Driving ‘Beyond LCA’ Metrics for Net Positive Cities

David Bagg’s paper (authored with Delwyn, Mathilde and GreenTag’s Lead Products Assessor, Shloka Ashar) was the first of the papers presented to open the case for measuring product positive impacts.

David presented case studies using metrics and tools that show how it is possible to measure progress towards true sustainability across the whole built environment – from products to buildings and infrastructure for cities.  David presented:

  • Applications of the novel Life Cycle Benefit Analysis (LCBA) concept, including exemplars vital for establishing how developments and products can deliver net positive carbon outcomes.
  • The need for a change in the way LCA (Life Cycle Assessment) is conducted.
  • How to integrate planetary boundaries as well as address calls to correct LCA methods for Climate Change Assessment from 25 Non Government Organisations (NGOs) from 6 countries.
  • Various tools that enable industry-wide, easy comparison of products and with adaption, assessment of developments, explore what is needed to constitute truly sustainable communities and cities.

Positive LCA Factoring Planetary Boundaries

This paper by Delwyn Jones (authored with Mathilde Vlieg and Shloka Ashar) challenged the existing boundaries of LCIA.  The International Standard Organisation Environmental Management LCA methodology focuses mostly on pollution generation and resource depletion, however, Delwyn told the forum:

“If LCA is to assess architecturally ‘Positive Development’ in ‘eco-retrofitting of the vast urban fabric we already inhabit’ it must evolve beyond LCIA.”

Delwyn’s presentation posited that we extend life cycle assessment (LCA) beyond impact assessment (LCIA) to consider benefit assessment (LCBA) integrating planetary boundaries, adding that:

 “The reach of LCIA is negative to zero often in loss of human health, ecosystem quality and natural capital.  Apart from lower ecological loads, LCA methods need to quantify recovery and regeneration of safe operating space and planetary boundaries for sustainable development.”

To illustrate her case, Delwyn tabled preliminary results from a residential high rise garbage chute over 60 years use – cradle to grave. Results showed:

“Overall gains in space and diverting recyclables from landfill are far greater than losses from manufacturing impacts,”

To quantify positive outcomes, a proposed LCBA theory, Delwyn said, calls for new concepts, methods and metrics to assess positive benefits, goals and benchmarks to supplement established LCIA methodology.

Forest Product LCA: Carbon Form, Fire, Fuel and Fate Rules

Mathilde Vlieg’s paper (authored with Delwyn Jones and Shloka Ashar) also attracted a lot of interest in Brussels.

Mathilde outlined work that pushes beyond the limits of current life cycle methodology to enable modelling of potential and actual carbon sequestration and sinks. Practitioners of LCA, she said, have long struggled with this issue, as there are unique fundamental challenges in modelling e.g., forest forms, history, habitat richness, species diversity and management.

Mathilde’s presentation demonstrated that while it is argued that stored carbon should not be counted as it will re-enter the atmosphere sooner or later, there is a ‘recognised’ need for accounting of sequestered carbon. She warned that:

“… this time factor is critical as we approach tipping points in the next decades …when LCIA practitioners currently often ignore carbon sequestration, most significant legal and ethical issues arise.”

Mathilde’s paper reviewed more than 30 cradle to grave case studies of plantation product supply chains. Results considered exclusion of Brazilian and Malaysian timber sequestration, because of continuing loss of rainforest forms across both nations.

The paper found:

“The significant difference in carbon uptake found depended on biofuel use for debarking, chipping, and sawmilling. Results were compared for timber fibre rich exterior cladding with various carbon sink values considering tropical interior boards and others. Forest product carbon sink values very significantly with management form, fire history, fuel use and interior and exterior applications and fate in re-use, recycling and landfill varied so LCA with detail knowledge of forest sources is essential.”