Declare

Published: April 13, 2018 | Updated: April 13, 2018

What it is: Declare is an ingredients initiative for building products that is designed to shape a greener, healthier environment for construction workers, business employees, and customers alike. The Declare program labels goods with a full list of ingredients, and expands the transparency of the building market. The Declare label discloses all chemicals present at or above 100 parts per million (ppm), and includes sourcing locations for product components , estimated product life expectancy, and options for the product’s disposal or reuse. The label also indicates compliance with the Living Building Challenge (LBC) Red List, a list of approximately  800 “worst-in-class” chemicals in 22 classes that are prohibited in LBC projects.

Application to Practice: Declare offers a user-friendly approach to chemical screening and source location information for raw materials, allowing designers and consumers to easily understand and compare information. Declare highlights manufacturers prioritizing transparency, offers a free platform for product specifiers to research and select safer materials, and encourages a continued conversation on the value of increased transparency.  

Declare is a single-attribute material ingredient transparency tool. It provides clear data about what is, and what is not, in a product. However, we recommend designers either consult with a materials science professional to evaluate the information, reference guidance to meeting the standards included in the Applicable Certifications section below, or qualify products based on whether they do or do not offer a Declare label.

Governing Organization: The Declare label and associated database are initiatives of the International Living Future Institute (ILFI), which is premised on the belief that providing a compelling vision for the future is a fundamental requirement for reconciling humanity’s relationship with the natural world. ILFI seeks to create a world that is socially just, culturally rich, and ecologically restorative. Other initiatives of ILFI include the Living Building Challenge (LBC) , the world’s most rigorous proven performance standard for buildings, and the Living Product Challenge, a framework and certification designed to incentivize the creation of products that have a net positive impact on the environment and human health.

Standards Used: ILFI has set the standards for the Declare label, designing them most directly to fulfill the LBC Red List Imperative. (The Red List was developed in collaboration with the Healthy Building Network and the Pharos Project and references other authoritative hazard lists.) The information reported on a Declare label also contributes to the LBC Healthy Interior Environment, Responsible Industry, Living Economy Sourcing, and Net Positive Waste Imperatives.

Additional Referenced Standards:

  - California Department of Public Health (CDPH) Section 01350

  - European Union Restriction of Hazardous Substances (EU RoHS) directive 2002/95/EC (RoHS 1)

  - California Air Resources Board (CARB) 2007 Suggested Control Measure for Architectural Coatings; South Coast Air Quality Management District (SCAQMD) Rule 1168

Verification Levels and Availability: Details publicly available for:

First-party verifications, or claims made by the manufacturer: The Declare label is generated via a detailed form requiring the disclosure of all intentionally added ingredients. Manufacturers are required to confirm all ingredient claims and encouraged to consult with their suppliers to complete the form.

Second-party verifications, in which the party has a financial interest in the transaction: Not applicable to Declare.

Third-party verifications, or an independent assessment that specific requirements have been met: ILFI has added an optional program to connect manufacturers interested in a third-party review of Declare label claims, including ingredients and supply chain information, with approved third-party assessors.

Product CSI Division and Types: All building products from all CSI Divisions are eligible.

Costs: The database is free-of-charge for product specifiers. Manufacturers pay a fee per label, with tiered pricing based on the number of labels a manufacturer holds. Declare licenses are valid for 12 months, after which they can re-submit the product through a fee-based renewal process. Product review is required at the time of the initial application, if/when any formulation changes are made, and when the LBC standard or Red List are updated. If there are no formulation changes and no changes to LBC at the time of renewal no in depth review is required

Scope: Limited to information related to human and environmental health. Declare labels do not include information on health impacts of combined exposures, process chemicals, or the potential transformation products resulting from chemical reactions or degradation.

Applicable Certifications:

  - Applicable to: LEED v4, WELL, LBC, Living Product Challenge (LPC),

  - Not Applicable to: BREEAM, Green Globes, LEED 2009

Additional Resources:

The ILFI provides extensive information about Declare labels on its website and in the Declare Manufacturer’s Guide.

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