The U.S. Green Building Council and Underwriters Laboratories are going to work together to increase awareness of what’s in building products and how they are made, the groups announced.

Through several initiatives, the groups said they hope to increase building performance and the safety of occupants. The first initiative is to establish joint environmental product declarations that will define ecological impacts.

“UL is the foremost established leader in the EPD field and is uniquely positioned to provide third-party assurance for the LEED (Leadership in Energy and Environmental Design) green building program,” said Rick Fedrizzi, the president, CEO and founding chairman of the U.S. Green Building Council. “We are thrilled to engage in this partnership which we believe will make a great impact across the market – both for manufacturers that want to establish themselves as leaders in the marketplace and for consumers who are increasingly demanding transparency in what is being used to construct and maintain the places where they live, learn, work and play.

“Lifecycle impacts and human health are two of the key underpinnings LEED,” Fedrizzi added. “We believe in buildings and products that limit environmental impact from conception to completion and that optimize the health of our families, colleagues and customers. UL is the world’s leading safety consulting and certification group, and our partnership will advance that mission enormously.”

Officials with Underwriters Laboratories said the partnership boosts UL’s standing as a trusted resource.

 “Buyers are demanding to know the full extent of a product’s environmental and health impacts,” said Sara Greenstein, president of UL's environment and information and insights division. “Transparency into the impacts of a product at each stage of its lifecycle has become a critical driver of purchases and specifications. Since this market is still evolving, and because the quality and consistency of data can vary greatly, we are working diligently to ensure that buyers and LEED users can trust that the information on which they rely is accurate, and that it complies with the new credit requirements. This partnership between USGBC and UL will help businesses, individuals and project teams better understand the products they are including in their building projects, and have greater clarity about how those products can contribute to LEED credits.”