DGNB

Requirements for product labels in the criterion "Sustainable resource extraction"

The objective of the criterion is to promote the use of products that are transparent with regard to their environmental and social impact throughout the value chain and utilise raw materials extraction and processing methods that comply with recognised environmental and social standards.

Minimum requirements

The fulfilment of the minimum requirements of the respective raw materials group is demonstrated in the course of the verification by the standard-awarding organisation.

Systemic requirements

The fulfilment of systemic requirements is a prerequisite for a recognition of the standard.

Content requirements

The "content requirements" establish which environmental and social minimum requirements a standard should formulate and monitor as a principle with regard to raw materials extraction, processing and/or manufacturing of building materials. The content requirements are formulated to be of primary importance in order to enable all raw materials that may be used in construction to be taken into account. If a certain raw material (e.g. wood, concrete or natural stone) is used, the aspects relevant for consideration are those that are "essential" with regard to the respective raw material/product and consequently of relevance. The raw materials-specific allocation gives an overview of this.

Environmental requirements

The objective is to reduce negative environmental impacts in the area of raw materials extraction and processing. Compliance with the following environmental sustainability goals that are relevant to specific raw materials and are essential for the extraction and processing of the raw materials groups in question must be proven via the standard.

1. Protection and preservation of biodiversity

Measures must be taken to protect and preserve biodiversity.

With the exception of natural pure stands, mixed stands with tree types suited to the location are maintained or build up. A sufficient proportion of tree species from the natural forest ecosystem is aimed for. Where foreign tree species are involved, it must be ensured that their natural regeneration does not interfere with the regenerative capacity of other tree types, thereby leading to their displacement.

Genetic or chemical treatment of seeds must be avoided.

Natural fibres must originate from organic farming or animal husbandry.

2. Ensuring the continued existence and protection of ecosystems (habitat diversity)

Natural areas should be converted into a state that is at least equal to the state of the original. The prohibition of deterioration applies here.

There must be an obligation to adhere to a prohibition of deterioration. Natural areas must be returned to a state that is at least equal to the state of the original.

  • Emphasis on prevention
  • A combination of silvicultural, biological, mechanical/technical and chemical measures
  • Exploitation of all environmental effects
  • Reduction in the demand for pesticides (insecticides) to a minimum level through the exploitation of all non-chemical methods

Extraction of raw materials does not take place (total conservation areas/"set-aside" areas) or does so only sparingly (environmental sustainability) from areas with particular conservation values. Conservation values are: Biodiversity, natural landscapes, biotopes/habitats, ecosystem services, cultural values, needs of local/resident communities.

A long-term sustainable management plan must exist.

The annual depletion must not exceed 1/100 of the resources that can be extracted annually from known deposits at economically viable expense.

3. Preservation of protective functions of ecosystems

Flood protection, potable water, avalanches, etc.

Environmental impacts must be observed, recorded and investigated on a long-term basis. Measures must be taken to monitor these environmental impacts.

4. Preservation of soil and landscapes through the reduction of land use

The land use must be minimised in order to ensure the preservation of soil and landscapes.

5. Preservation of soil quality through the prevention of biological, chemical and physical land degradation

e.g. soil compaction, soil erosion, soil contamination due to the use of chemicals that are harmful to the environment and health or dangerous (substances of very high concern in accordance with REACH))

Biological, chemical and physical soil degradation must be avoided.

6. Preservation of the natural water cycle

Measures must be taken to preserve the natural water cycle (e.g. preventing impact on surface water levels and/or groundwater levels and their quality, preventing use of large-scale sealants).

7. Reduction of water consumption and prevention of impact on surface water levels and/or groundwater levels and their quality

Measures must be taken to reduce water consumption.

The environmental approach to electrical energy must be ensured (machines with low energy consumption, use of renewable energies). Employees must be trained to use electrical energy sparingly.

8. Prevention of water pollution

e.g. prevention of impact on the water quality through waste water

Polluted waste water must not contaminate groundwater or other natural bodies of water. An effective recycling system must be available, in which polluted waste water is cleaned and subsequently fed back into the natural water cycle.

The use of any fertiliser with chemicals that may be harmful to the environment or health or represent a danger must be avoided. Substances of very high concern are outlined in the REACH regulation.

The use of any pesticides that contain chemicals that may be harmful to the environment or health or represent a danger must be avoided. Substances of very high concern are outlined in the REACH regulation.

9. Prevention of waste and toxic waste in particular

Measures must be taken to prevent the generation of waste and toxic waste in particular.

Dyes must not contain any heavy metals.

Bleaching procedures must be oxygen-based.

10. Preservation of air quality through the prevention of harmful emissions

Measures must be taken to prevent the generation of harmful emissions in order to preserve air quality.

11. Reduction of environmental impacts due to transportation

e.g. by using local/regional sources of raw materials

Measures must be taken to avoid transportation (shift to more environmentally friendly alternatives and the use of local sources of raw materials).

Social requirements

The objective is to reduce negative social impacts resulting from the extraction and processing of raw materials. The requirements in the area of social issues are based on human rights conventions and the labour standards of the International Labour Organization (ILO), the ISEAL Assurance Code and the OECD Due Diligence Guidance. Relation to the aforementioned or equivalent standards must be demonstrated as part of the verification process by the standard-awarding organisation.

1. Ban on child labour and forced labour in accordance with ILO conventions

(ILO = International Labour Organisation)

  • ILO core labour standards: No child labour (ILO conventions nos. 138 and 182)
  • No slave labour (ILO conventions nos. 29 and 105)
2. Compliance with fundamental ILO core labour standards and occupational health and safety measures

(Prevention of industrial accidents/protecting workers in hazardous conditions across the entire supply/value chain)

  • Labour standards and occupational health and safety measures: Staff must receive training in health and safety measures (ILO convention no. 155); accidents at work must be documented; employees must be protected from potential hazards such as chemicals, air impurities, vibrations, and noise (ILO conventions nos. 148 and 170); the work standards and health and safety measures are adhered to throughout the entire supply/value chain.
  • Appropriate living conditions for employees: Employee accommodation must be supplied with clean potable water. Sanitation facilities must be available in sufficient measure and be located within easy reach of the accommodation.
  • Sufficient provision of medical support: Doctor or hospital in sufficient proximity; staff must regularly receive training in first aid; first aid kit with all the necessary utensils must be available in the workplace.
3. Compliance with labour laws

e.g. ensuring the existence of a written contract of employment in accordance with statutory requirements; also applies for subcontractors.

  • Fair employment contracts and salaries: Written contracts in the language used by the employees; payment to satisfy basic needs as well as provide a small income (ILO convention no. 131).
4. Adherence to the right of freedom of association

Protection of right to associate and collective bargaining in accordance with ILO conventions nos. 87 and 98

  • ILO core labour standards: Freedom of association (ILO conventions nos. 87 and 98)
5. Equal remuneration and non-discrimination in the workplace

in accordance with ILO conventions nos. 100 and 111

  • ILO core labour standards: No discrimination (ILO conventions nos. 100 and 111)
6. Preservation of cultural values and compliance with the rights of indigenous peoples and the local population

Prevention of resource conflicts and threats to the livelihood of the local population due to possible negative impacts of raw materials extraction, processing or manufacturing of products (expropriation and dispossession of land, forced resettlement or negative impacts on food security).

  • Prevention of raw materials extraction in regions afflicted and endangered by conflict: Raw materials extraction should take place in an environment free of conflict. In principle, all risks and, where applicable, effects originating from them should be identified in conjunction with the extraction of raw materials, in order to avoid intensifying existing conflicts (in regions afflicted and endangered by conflict) or prevent the instigation of new conflicts (precautionary principle).
  • Supporting local communities and businesses: As a matter of preference, contracts are awarded to local businesses.
  • Improvement of local infrastructure: Measures are implemented to improve the local infrastructure.
  • Consent of the local community: The local community and the responsible authorities must be involved in decisions. Resource conflicts and threats to the livelihood of the local population due to possible negative impacts of raw materials extraction, processing or manufacturing of products must be avoided.
7. Implementation of "ethical business"

e.g. preventing corruption, implementing fair business practices and compliance with laws

  • Corruption must be prevented. Fair business practices must be implemented. The laws of the respective countries must be adhered to.

Achievable quality levels

In the criterion of "Sustainable resource extraction", differentiation is made between various quality levels in accordance with the implementation of the content requirements of a recognised standard.

Quality level 1.2

The standard certifies subcomponents according to the criterion of "Sustainable resource extraction" that are strictly worded, e.g. only the extraction and not the further processing OR only the processing of raw materials and not their extraction. This classification can then only take place if the standard will in future demonstrably include the depiction of the elements of the value chain that are not currently taken into account and the integration has already been announced.

or

The construction materials/products certified according to the standard fulfil the content requirements that are listed in the criterion (either only environmental or social) with regard to the awarding criteria of the standard. The fulfilment relates to the essential elements of the value chain.

or

The standard takes into account a "mixture" of certified and non-certified raw materials as part of the certification.

Quality level 1.3

The construction materials or products certified according to the standard fulfil the content requirements that are listed in the criterion (both environmental and social) with regard to the awarding criteria of the standard. The fulfilment relates to the essential elements of the value chain.

Quality level 2.2

The construction materials or products certified according to the standard prove the use of secondary raw materials and fulfil the content requirements that are listed in the criterion (both environmental and social) with regard to the awarding criteria of the standard.

In criterion ENV 1.3 "Sustainable resource extraction", the "content requirements" for standards are explicitly worded in the criterion and designated as such.

Download DGNB criteria ENV1.3