Overall Rating Gold
Overall Score 72.47
Liaison Jenny McNamara
Submission Date March 30, 2018
Executive Letter Download

STARS v2.1

Portland State University
IN-24: Innovation A

Status Score Responsible Party
Complete 1.00 / 1.00 Amanda Wolf
Program + Assessment Coordinator
Campus Sustainability Office
"---" indicates that no data was submitted for this field

Name or title of the innovative policy, practice, program, or outcome:
LEED-ing the way to market transformation

A brief description of the innovative policy, practice, program, or outcome that outlines how credit criteria are met and any positive measurable outcomes associated with the innovation:

Portland State University (PSU) is committed to sustainability, which is reflected in our Design Standards requiring all major new construction and renovation projects to achieve Gold certification under LEED v4. These standards commit PSU to using sustainable products that are manufactured and sourced locally, and are verified as sustainable through industry guidelines or third party organizations. Following PSU’s Sustainable Procurement Policy, materials with low “embodied emissions” are preferred. PSU seeks Health Product Declarations (HPDs) for materials that outline life cycle impacts and sustainable attributes. Though standards and policies guide our sustainability efforts, PSU’s new Strategic Plan requires the university to “develop a strategy for leveraging our purchasing, employment, and investment priorities to advance equity, sustainability and community wealth-building.” The attached case story is about how PSU used our sustainability goals/policies to market change for one local paint company in Portland, OR. In response to PSU's requests for healthier paints and product transparency, Miller Paint took the initiative to turn challenge into opportunity. They inventoried ingredients, screened paints against the Red List and provided HPDs to meet LEED v4 standards. By publicly disclosing their paint formulas, Miller satisfied PSU’s needs while positioning itself to compete in the expanding market for non-toxic materials and product transparency.

To help encourage our preferred supplier, Miller Paint, we combined advocacy from our partners, Fortis Construction, Woofter Architecture, Sink Combs Dethlefs, Architecture Design and Brightworks Sustainability to motivate Miller to inventory and report their paint formula as a precondition of support for their product. Through this combined advocacy, Miller Paint inventoried their formula and removed Red Listed chemicals where possible in their paints and also created HPDs for two of their paint lines.

A goal of this project was to advocate for healthier products and also encourage our preferred supplier to expand their share of the rapidly expanding market for products with HPDs. Through the collaborative push to get transparency on Miller Paints formulas, they are now in a place to get certification of their paint lines as ultra-low VOC, with reduced use of Red Listed chemicals and HPDs, which will also help position them to expand their market share (a win-win for PSU and Miller Paint).

Which of the following impact areas does the innovation most closely relate to? (select up to three):
Public Engagement

A letter of affirmation from an individual with relevant expertise or a press release or publication featuring the innovation :
The website URL where information about the innovation is available :

Additional documentation to support the submission:

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