wastewater from toilets that contains human waste and related pathogens that cannot be reused without purification.


a method to compare various greenhouse gases based on their global warming potential. One metric ton of a greenhouse gas is converted to the equivalent number of metric tons of CO2 emissions with the same global warming potential.

a state of net zero carbon dioxide emissions.

description of economic, technical, and environmental systems that aim to eliminate waste and maximize the reuse of resources.

water that is free of visible contaminants but may not be entirely free from germs or microorganisms and is therefore suitable for human use but perhaps not consumption.

the Cradle to Cradle Certified® Product Standard “provides the framework to assess the safety, circularity and responsibility of materials and products across five categories of sustainability performance: material health, product circularity, clean air and climate protection, water and soil stewardship, and social fairness.”


greenhouse gas emissions associated with the manufacturing, transportation, installation, maintenance, and disposal of building materials.

fresh water used from the manufacturing of building materials.

a tool to communicate and understand the environmental impact of a product that is derived from a life cycle assessment.


a measure of how much warming a greenhouse gas would add once it’s added to the atmosphere. This is typically the most sought out information in environmental product declarations and expressed as carbon dioxide equivalent (CO2e).

gases in the atmosphere that absorb infrared radiation, trapping heat and causing a greenhouse effect.

wastewater from domestic, commercial and even industrial sources that is not contaminated by human waste and can be recycled for a range of agricultural purposes with little to no treatment.


an international nongovernmental organization made up of national standards bodies where many different standards that govern sustainability concepts have been developed and updated.


a systematic analysis of the potential environmental impacts of products or services during their life cycle.


the balance between the amount of greenhouse gas that’s released into the atmosphere and the amount that is removed from the atmosphere.

water that is not suitable for human consumption but may still be useful for agricultural or industrial purposes.


greenhouse gas emissions due to a building’s energy consumption.


material that has been first used by a consumer and then recycled into new materials. These are typically materials such as aluminum cans, cardboard, paper, and plastic bottles.

water derived from surface and groundwater sources that is suitable for human consumption and free of contaminants.

material that has never reached an end-user as it has been diverted from the waste stream during a manufacturing process. These are typically materials such as mill and manufacturing trim, scrap, or broken items handled during manufacturing.

reusable material that is a byproduct of industrial manufacturing, which can be collected and reused during or after the production process.

product category-specific requirements for conducting life cycle assessments for that product category and how to eventually communicate these findings thru environmental product declarations.

an independent organization that conducts, administers, and supervises environmental product declaration development, verification, and publication.


the process of collecting and converting materials that would otherwise be waste into reusable products or materials.

maintained by the International Living Future Institute (ILFI), the Red List identifies chemicals that may not be used in building products and projects that seek to meet the standards of the ILFI’s Living Building Challenge (LBC), as they have been shown to be harmful to the environment and/or living beings.

the practice of using an item for its original purpose or for a new purpose.


a specific type of recycling in which the recycled waste is converted into a new product or material that offers higher value or quality, giving the material a “new life.”


the combined efforts of waste prevention, reuse, and recovery to divert materials from entering the landfill.