May 30, 2024

How Green Badger Supports Achieving the AIA Materials Pledge

Lauren Breckenridge image
Laure Breckenridge, Sustainability Associate at Green Badger

Architects and designers are essential in promoting sustainable architecture and construction practices. As the issue of climate change becomes more pressing, the decisions made in selecting materials and designing buildings have a significant impact on the environment. 

Two key initiatives in the industry are leading the way: the AIA Materials Pledge and the LEED with its Building Product Disclosure and Optimization (BPDO) credits. While each initiative focuses on different aspects of sustainability, there is a noticeable overlap between them. Let’s explore the similarities and see how Green Badger can help Architects specify sustainable materials for your projects.

LEED BPDO Credit Environmental Product Declarations and AIA Ecosystem Health

One of the key principles of the AIA Materials Pledge is the impact products have on our climate. Architects should seek out information about the origins of materials, their manufacturing processes, and its impact on the environment. EPDs offer a snapshot of a product’s environmental impact throughout its life cycle, a crucial consideration given the significant impact products have on natural resources and, consequently, global warming

Taking it a step further, specifying products with a Life-Cycle Impact Reduction Plan or Life-Cycle Impact Reductions in Embodied Carbon is even more beneficial, as these products have taken steps to outline or actively reduce their environmental impacts. You can find these types of products by using the Green Badger advanced search feature (more on that later).

LEED BPDO Credit Material Ingredient Reporting and AIA Human Health

Furthermore the AIA Materials Pledge encourages Architects to seek out information about the ingredients used and their impact on human health. This focus on transparency enables architects to make educated choices and choose materials that are more suitable for the well-being of the building’s occupants. Specify products or materials that have a Health Product Declaration (HPD), Declare label, or a Cradle to Cradle certificate. Documents must meet certain specific criteria to be accepted for the LEED credit.

LEED BPDO Credit Sourcing of Raw Materials and AIA Circular Economy 

Another crucial aspect of the AIA Materials Pledge is its focus on product circularity. In addition to environmental considerations, architects should prioritize specifying products that either incorporate recycled content, participate in manufacturer take-back programs, or are reusable/salvageable. 

By embracing circularity in product selection, we can significantly reduce waste generation, minimize the depletion of finite resources, and decrease the carbon footprint associated with material extraction and production. This approach not only helps keep products out of landfills but also mitigates the environmental impacts of sourcing new materials. By fostering collaboration, the pledge aims to accelerate the adoption of sustainable practices and facilitate the transition towards a circular economy. Using Green Badger will provide the proper documentation to validate claims pertaining to this topic. 

Green Badger to the Rescue!

Green Badger is full of useful resources to help your team specify materials that will not only satisfy the LEED BPDO credits but also honor your commitment to the AIA Materials Pledge.

First let me introduce you to our advanced search feature! 

This tool can be incredibly beneficial in locating sustainable materials. By utilizing the advanced search function, you can easily find products that meet one or more of the LEED BPDO credit criteria while also aiding in fulfilling the AIA Materials Pledge.

Green Badger supports Architects and the AIA Materials Pledge - Sustainable Materials

With any of those options checked it will pull up products that satisfy that specific criteria with its supporting documentation.

To find products that align with the Circular Economy section of the AIA Materials Pledge, I recommend the advanced search feature and specifically checking the SRM box. This action will display products that feature recycled content and/or participate in manufacturer take-back programs.

Green Badger supporting the AIA Materials Pledge SRM

Another approach to finding materials that satisfy both the Material’s Pledge and LEED would be to use any of our ebook on Guide to EPD and MIR: Options 1 & 2 or check out our blogs on the Extended Producer Responsibility Programs and Material Reuse and Recycled Content.


The AIA Materials Pledge marks a significant stride toward a more sustainable and fair future in the built environment. Its alignment with the LEED BPDO credits reflect their shared emphasis on transparency, responsible material selection, and environmental stewardship. Both initiatives recognize the importance of considering the environmental and social impacts of building materials and advocate for collaboration across the industry to drive positive change. 

By prioritizing responsible material selection and fostering transparency and collaboration, architects can play a pivotal role in tackling climate change and creating buildings that not only safeguard the environment but also enhance the well-being of communities worldwide. As stewards of the built environment, architects have a unique opportunity and responsibility to lead the way towards a brighter, more sustainable future.

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