The Plastics Blog
By Don Loepp | About The Plastics Blog

Plastics industry blasted for stance in green building debate

By Don Loepp | July 22, 2014 02:45 pm ET
Keywords: Construction

The plastics industry has taken high-profile stance in the debate over green building standards. The result, today at least, is that it's getting some criticism.

David Levine, CEO of the American Sustainable Business Council, today wrote a post in TheHill.com's Congress blog titled "Plastic industry’s faulty lobbying agenda."

The post is timed to coincide with the plastics industry's annual Washington fly-in, where member companies come to D.C. to meet with Congress, Administration officials and staffers about issues of interest.

Levine knows there's pressure from the plastics industry over which green building standard the federal government should prefer (if any). For background, read our stories about the debate between the Green Building Initiatives' Green Globes system and the U.S. Green Building Council's Leadership in Energy and Environmental Design (LEED) system.

He writes that "a vocal subset of the plastics industry ... has become a major critic of LEED — even falsely claiming that these LEED credits are not science-based nor representing consensus. The truth is that the U.S. Green Building Council has a rigorously inclusive process that seeks critical input from the nation’s top building science experts and leaders in all sectors of the building industry."

The plastics industry has been arguing for years that the process that USGBC used to come up with its new LEED v4 standards were not really consensus-based.

The debate may involve a subset of the plastics industry, but it's a pretty big subset. If the government gives a nod to LEED v4, it could have an impact on widely used plastic building materials, including PVC.

The plastics industry has been a strong supporter of the Green Globes standards instead of LEED's. Green Globes have a reputation for being faster, cheaper and more industry-friendly than LEED — an impression that was affirmed recently when Drexel University in Philadelphia reported that the cost of having a new five-story science building constructed on the Philadelphia campus qualify for both the LEED and Green Globes standards.

As PN's Catherine Kavanaugh reported, the internal staff costs to meet LEED requirements totaled $125,000 compared to $9,000 for Green Globes.

Levine won't have the last word on the debate, but I'll let him have it here. In his blog post for The Hill, he writes:

"There’s a reason nearly 9 billion square feet of building space globally participate in LEED rating systems. Because it works well. The plastics industry should join other industry leaders — even those in their sector — that are already promoting American innovations in green chemistry. We’re confident U.S. senators and congressmen would be excited to support greater exports while improving the health of our buildings for our workers, schoolchildren, and families. That’s something we can all get behind, because it is good for business."


Recent Blog Posts

Arburg's Heinz Gaub talks about plastics and additive manufacturing   October 23, 2014 9:26 am ET
What's more controversial, legalizing pot or criminalizing plastic bags?   October 22, 2014 9:53 am ET
Teknor Apex working to keep talented young workers in Rhode Island   October 15, 2014 6:00 am ET
Fakuma facts and figures   October 13, 2014 8:47 am ET
A look behind Plastics News' 2014 mold makers ranking   October 6, 2014 11:55 am ET
Canadian plastics officials help with shoreline cleanup   October 1, 2014 2:35 pm ET

Comments

Plastics industry blasted for stance in green building debate

By Don Loepp

Published: July 22, 2014 2:45 pm ET
Updated: July 22, 2014 3:18 pm ET

Post Your Comments


Back to story

Market Reports

Plastics Recycling Trends in North America

This report is a review and analysis of the North American Plastics Recycling Industry, including key trends and statistics based on 2013 performance. We examine market environment factors, regulatory issues, industry challenges, key drivers and emerging trends in post-consumer and post-industrial recycling.

Learn more

Plastics in Mexico - State of the Industry Report

This report analyzes the $20 million dollar plastics industry in Mexico including sales of machinery & equipment, resins and finished products.

Our analysts provide insight on business trends, foreign investment, top end markets and plastics processing activity. The report also provides important data on exports, production, employment and value of plastics products manufactured.

Learn more

Plastics Caps & Closures Market Report

The annual recap of top trends and future outlook for the plastics caps & closures market features interviews with industry thought leaders and Bill Wood’s economic forecast of trends in growing end markets. You will also gain insight on trends in caps design, materials, machinery, molds & tooling and reviews of mergers & acquisitions.

Learn more

Upcoming Plastics News Events

January 14, 2015 - January 14, 2015Plastics in Automotive

February 4, 2015 - February 6, 2015Plastics News Executive Forum 2015

June 2, 2015 - June 3, 2015Plastics Financial Summit - Chicago 2015

September 16, 2015 - September 18, 2015Plastics Caps & Closures - September 2015

More Events