But, they’re faced with the challenge of harnessing that collective will,
integrating efforts, and finding consensus across an industry with numerous
players—architects, interior designers, building and construction teams,
material and product manufacturers—that represent the many moving parts
that bring the built environment to life, to bring about meaningful change.
It’s for this very reason that designing materials across the supply chain
with circularity in mind is in its infancy, notes Debra Phillips, vice president
of Responsible Care and Value Chain Outreach for the American Chemistry
Council (ACC). “What we hear from the interior design and architect
community is that they want products that perform well; have aesthetic
appeal; are safe to use; and have minimal impact on the environment in their
manufacture, use, and end of life,” whether it’s the coating on a window,
a light fixture, or a floor finish, she says.
That demand alone is “a challenging balancing act,” as it calls for
meeting not only safety and environmental standards, but also durability
and aesthetic standards.
The ACC’s Responsible Care initiative, the chemical industry’s environmental,
health, safety, and security performance program, is integral to that goal,
adds Phillips. ACC members seek to educate and provide useful information
to the A&D community about the chemical ingredients used in buildings and
everyday products, she says. Program participation is mandatory for the
ACC’s chemical manufacturing member companies.