GENEVA, SWTIZERLAND—A new International Organization for Standardization (ISO) standard will help to ensure that urbanization, which is a global trend, develops in an environmentally friendly manner. "ISO 21930:2007, Sustainability in building construction—Environmental declaration of building products, will be a very helpful tool for the designers of buildings, manufacturers of building products, users of buildings, owners of buildings, and others active in the building and construction sector who are increasingly demanding information that enables them to address environmental impacts of buildings and other construction works," said Jacques Lair, leader of the team of ISO experts that developed the standard.
The building construction industry is recognized as a major employer, but also as a sector that is responsible for generating a large amount of waste and pollution. It is estimated that the building industry is responsible for approximately 40 percent of the waste in European countries. A major improvement has to take place in the building industry in order to fulfill the goals of the Rio and Kyoto Conferences.

The standard describes the principles and framework for environmental declarations of building products, taking into consideration the complete life cycle of a building. ISO 21930 is expected to form the basis for Type III environmental declaration programs of building products as described in ISO 14025:2006, Environmental labels and declarations – Type III environmental declarations – Principles and procedures.

The overall goal of environmental declarations in this sector is to encourage the demand for, and supply of, building products that cause less stress on the environment, through communication of verifiable and accurate information on environmental aspects of those building products that is not misleading, thereby stimulating the potential for market-driven, continual environmental improvement.