TOTO receives first Declare label for plumbing products
As more homeowners, builders, and green building certification programs emphasize material health as well as performance, manufacturers are committing to product transparency.
TOTO has achieved a plumbing industry first by offering material health evaluations for an initial six high-efficiency toilets (HETs). TOTO is now the only plumbing manufacturer whose products have earned the International Living Future Institute's (IFLI) Declare label and are listed in the Declare Products Database.
Often compared to the nutritional labeling found on packaged food, Declare labels focus on specific information important to consumers and building industry professionals byoffering a transparent platform for the disclosure of materials, chemicals and elements known to pose risks to human health or the environment. After a thorough investigation of their constituent materials, TOTO's initial six HETs have been listed in the Declare database as Living Building Challenge Compliant or “declared.”
“TOTO is pleased to be the first market mover in our industry to earn the IFLI's Declare label, providing insight into our efforts to reduce the health and environmental impacts of the materials and processes used in the manufacture of our world-class bathroom products,” said Bill Strang, president of Operations for the Americas, TOTO USA. “Transparency is the cornerstone of all our initiatives and key to providing customers with informed choices about our products and a profound understanding of the ethic upon which we operate.”
During the rigorous Declare label evaluation process, TOTO learned that changes to its product line would be required to be Living Building Challenge Compliant. The polyvinyl chloride (PVC) in its toilets' rubber flappers, plastic refill tubes and seat pads is deemed hazardous. As a result, TOTO immediately began working with its vendors to produce PVC-free flappers, refill tubes, and seat pads. TOTO now offers PVC-free high-efficiency toilets, which are Living Building Challenge Compliant.
"TOTO is a true leader in product transparency and material health. Not only are they the first plumbing manufacturer to disclose their full product formulation for Declare, but they worked diligently to remove Red List components during the review process, which earned them another first,” said James Connelly, director, Living Products Challenge. “TOTO has the only toilets in the Declare database that comply with the Living Building Challenge, the world's most advanced sustainability certification in the built environment.”
“TOTO has incorporated the information from our Declare labels in our holistic approach to transparency with our partner Sustainable Minds, adding the material health impacts to the existing environmental impacts for our products in the market,” said Strang.
Sustainable Minds Material Health Overviews
Using its new Declare labels' data as the foundation, TOTO partnered with Sustainable Minds to develop the next in the company's suite of Transparency Products – the SM Material Health Overview (MHO). Based on the award-winning Transparency Report, which the partners' earlier innovated in EPD design and delivery, TOTO's new PVC-free MHO is a strategic marketing and lead generation tool. Designed to inform safer purchase decisions, it makes material health evaluation information meaningful by describing what TOTO is doing to improve the material health of its products. TOTO's new MHO delivers functional and material health attributes for its PVC-free products in one place and is available as a standalone MHO report.
“Manufacturers are being asked for many types of product data, each delivered in a broad range of formats and not always found in the same place,” said Terry Swack, Founder and CEO, Sustainable Minds. “This makes design and purchase decisions exponentially more complex. Sustainable Minds is committed to making product transparency reporting simple and understandable for manufacturers and their customers."
Read more about high efficiency plumbing products.