Toxic chemicals threaten human health and compromise the resilience of our ecosystems,” said Amanda Sturgeon, CEO, of the International Living Future Institute, during last week’s launch event of the Declare EU label in South Tyrol, Italy. “Having better information will allow manufacturers, architects and designers to make the best decisions possible.”

Amanda Sturgeon at the Declare EU launch

The Declare launch event was one of a series of events held in Italy last week with the goal of supporting the transparency and health of the European building market. As manufacturers around the world grasp with new consumer expectations and government regulations, the European market aims to take a leading role and is leaning into their green building requirements. These include the Living Building Challenge (Red List), the list of substances of very high concern (SVHC) from the REACH regulation, as well as the SIN List of substances present in the final product.

We want to be the first Italian company to register to Declare,” shared Giovanni Toniato from Eurofinestra, an Italian family-owned window manufacturer. “Having a sustainable approach for buildings is fundamental for our future.

Giovanni Toniato

The audience at both the Declare Launch event and the Klimahouse conference were inspired by ILFI’s Amanda Sturgeon. “We have to change our mindset to create more living buildings and more living products. Change the way we think how to use materials, how we create them, how we build our buildings.”

The biggest challenge in doing this is really us and our ability to change what we value in the world,” she said during her keynote address.

Amanda Sturgeon during her keynote address

The Institute was also a main partner of the Klimahouse Startup Award, with Amanda Sturgeon introducing the final award winner. Including startups from Italy, Austria, Germany, Portugal and Switzerland, the theme of this challenge was “The Human Factor.” Focusing on the impact that smart building, smart living and smart city technologies will have on people, Amanda presented the award to the winner, Tante Lotte Design.

Tante Lotte Design, winners of the Klimahouse Startup Award

This was the first time that the Institute participated with a booth at the Klimahouse exhibition, a leading trade show on sustainable construction in Italy, with more than 450 exhibitors. Staffed by both Amanda, myself, and members of the Italian Collaborative, we introduced the Living Building Challenge and the other ILFI programs and labels to hundreds of qualified professionals over the four days.

Living Future Europe Initiative’s Executive Director Carlo Battisti (left) with visitors at the ILFI booth at Klimahouse 2019.

We continued these conversations into the night, gathering Collaborative Members from across Italy together at one of Bolzano’s historic restaurants, Vögele, dating back to 1277.

The Italian Collaborative enjoying dinner together.

I believe that Declare is the beginning of a revolution in building material transparency. As the Executive Director of the Living Future Europe Initiative and a European green building specialist, I know the sector has been waiting for this work. I am thrilled to play a part to bring clarity and transparency to the products of Italy and Europe, and help grow a Living Future.

Written by Carlo Battisti, Executive Director of the Living Future Europe Initiative

Written By

Carlo Battisti

Carlo Battisti has a degree in Civil Engineering from the Politecnico of Milan and twenty years of experience with construction companies. Carlo has a Masters in Management and Organizational Development from MIP, the Business School of Politecnico of Milan. He is a LEED®, Living Future and WELL Accredited Professional.