Aug
8

UL’s Product Lens™ Report – Context and Interpretation

A few weeks ago, UL Environment launched the Product Lens Report, a new chemical disclosure tool to meet marketplace product transparency demands, providing clarity by putting chemical hazards into context.

You may be wondering what we mean by clarity and context. Aside from meeting the requirements in LEED v4 for chemical disclosure, the goal of the Product Lens Report is to offer transparency and interpretation of this disclosure, not just a hazards-only approach, which was previously the option. Hazardous chemicals can be found in products we come into contact with on a daily basis, but in many cases there is zero risk of exposure to these materials.  Understanding the levels of hazards and risk allows buyers and specifiers to make smart purchasing decisions.

Take, for example, a blueberry. Delicious, juicy, and full of chemicals. Bananas contain chemicals too. So do eggs. And so on, and so on. The point is, we ingest these items every day with no cause for concern or health risk. Understanding the degrees of chemical exposure is the focus. And it’s what inspired the creation of the Product Lens Report.

The program is a result of collaboration between UL Environment, MBDC and the Cradle to Cradle Products Innovation Institute, with the Product Lens program basing the chemical assessment on the Materials Health Assessment Methodology v3.0 from the Cradle to Cradle Certified™ Products program. UL’s Product Lens Report takes the next step in chemical disclosure by not only offering complete materials health transparency; we can provide a gap analysis for you to receive a materials health certification through Cradle to Cradle.

The Product Lens Report utilizes a color-coding system to identify the level of hazards in a manufacturer’s product through the product’s life cycle.

Color code

Each material is ranked according to this system, along with an exposure indictor – dermal, inhalation or oral.

Roadmap to a Product Lens Report:

  1. Customer submits a chemical bill of materials.
  2. That bill of materials is then accessed by MBDC by using the Cradle to Cradle methodology.
  3. In cases where a customer cannot provide a full bill of materials, UL will reach out to their suppliers to obtain that missing information.
  4. Once the chemical assessment is complete, UL reviews it with manufacturers and publishes with their approval.

***Proprietary information is kept between UL and the manufacturer. Or, suppliers can disclose proprietary information directly to UL.

Architects and designers wanted an easy-to-understand chemical report so they can meet their green building demands, and UL Environment’s Product Lens Report is their solution. To view samples of Product Len’s Reports, visit our Sustainable Product Guide (SPG). To learn more, contact us at furniturena@ul.com or 844.221.5689.