Sustainability — addressing the needs of today without compromising the ability of future generations to meet their needs — will be the topic of an October workshop and standards development meetings of ASTM International Committee E60 on Sustainability. The committee will meet Oct. 18-22 during the ASTM October 2009 committee week in Atlanta, Ga.
“All of us need to incorporate sustainable means and materials into our daily operations and need to communicate how we have done so to our customers,” says Dru Meadows, principal of theGreenTeam Inc., Tulsa, Okla., and Committee E60 chair. The October E60 life cycle assessment workshop (LCA) and committee meetings will further these endeavors.
A workshop, Life Cycle Assessments: Methodology, Current Development and Application in Standards, will be held Oct. 18-19. A fundamental concept in sustainability, LCA is becoming more expected from industry while little guidance exists about how best to incorporate LCA criteria into product standards, according to Meadows. Use of LCA and LCA criteria in product standards is directly related to how LCAs are informing product development, selection and purchasing. The workshop is intended to provide additional guidance through exploring current LCA theory and application.
The Oct. 18 session will address how decision makers, purchasers and standards developers, among others, use LCA, and it will cover current challenges such as the availability of consistent LCA databases. The Oct. 19 program, supported by the previous day’s presentations, will consist of discussions about the use of LCA in product development and selection as well as in product standards. Three panels will be held:
“If you just examine manufacturing impacts and not operational impacts, or you just look at what resources go into a product, but not at what remains after the product is used — or any smaller snapshot than the full life — you cannot really hope to inform a long-range perspective,” Meadows says. The workshop will provide a critical examination of LCA perspectives and the use of LCA and LCA criteria in standards.
Forums on infrastructure and packaging will be held the afternoon of Oct. 19 to identify resources and information about the sustainability aspects of the two topics. The subjects, determined at a previous E60 meeting, could lead to a database or possible standards development projects for the future.
E60 subcommittees on buildings and construction, hospitality and general sustainability standards will continue work on a number of standards. Go to www.astm.org/COMMIT/COMMITTEE/E60.htm for “Committee E60 Proposed Standards (as of September 2009, PDF file)” as well as other information about the group.
ASTM International welcomes and encourages participation in the development of its standards. ASTM’s open consensus process, using advance Internet-based standards development tools, ensures worldwide access for all interested individuals.