Athena Sustainable Materials Institute

Life Cycle Assessment, Databases and Sustainable Building

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We are experiencing a fundamental change that affects how products are developed and, more importantly, how they are perceived, especially by large volume purchasers such as governments and members of extended supply chains. The change affects market shares, and it most certainly affects building material choices and design decisions. I’m referring of course to the evolving environmental agenda that has, over the past several decades, come to encompass more and more of the issues and activities that had previously been approached in a more isolated fashion, such issues and activities as biodiversity, water use, transportation and fossil fuel depletion. The 1972 publication of the Club of Rome “Limits to Growth” report is a critical early milestone on a path toward increased environmental awareness and action. Other notable milestones along the way include the 1987 Bruntland Report, “Our Common Future”, the Rio Accords of 1992, and the Kyoto Protocol of 1997.

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