What is Sustainable Development?
Sustainable development (SD) is the social, economic, and environmental commitment to growth and development that meet the needs of the present without compromising the ability of future generations to meet their needs. Creating a more sustainable community, nation, and world is pertinent, and developers of the built environment (architects, engineers, material suppliers, etc.) shoulder a large part of the responsibility to protect the interests of present and future generations.
As the surge of environmental awareness increases, so do the number of false or misleading green marketing claims, known as greenwashing; therefore, it is necessary to educate specifiers and consumers about how to distinguish true sustainability from false claims. Specifiers may use a number of environmental impact assessment methods to measure the sustainability of a product or process. One of the most accepted and well-known methods for measuring sustainability is the US Green Building Councils Leadership in Energy and Environmental Design (LEED®) with the combination of life-cycle assessment (LCA) and environmental product declarations (EPDs).
Lets start with an overview of these methods.