Our Rankings

Our material rankings aim to revolutionize material production by creating demand for healthier materials. Material rankings are based on live data - rankings change as materials improve. Rankings can also be filtered to prioritize the needs of each user.

GIGA’s methodology for ranking materials is the most comprehensive and advanced in the world. It is the only system that allows for the comparison of materials from differing countries and/or with differing certifications. It is also the only system that considers the dual sets of standards emerging globally.

MNI:The first set of standards belong to the field of international compliance. Their focus is on damage control, or in other words, minimizing the negative impact of our human footprint. International compliance standards define most of the regulations and certifications that are currently in use throughout the globe. GIGA has titled this set of standards ‘MNI’, which is an acronym for Minimizing Negative Impact.

RESET™:The second set of standards belong to the field of environmental regeneration. Their focus is on maximizing the positive impact of our human footprint across our total environment: ecological, social and economic. This set of standards is younger and far less prevalent globally. However, without these, all efforts undertaken under MNI are fruitless. GIGA has pioneered a set of standards titled RESET™, which is an acronym for Regenerative, Ecological, Social and Economic Targets.

GIGA is the only system in the world with the ability to benchmark materials according to both MNI and RESET™ Standards.

Our database includes GIGA Ranked and User Submitted materials. What’s the difference?

GIGA Ranked:
Materials are ranked according to both MNI and RESET™ Standards. Information is provided by manufacturers and is vetted by qualified 3rd parties and GIGA’s Research Team. Ranking requirements are listed below. To lower the barrier of entry, manufacturers can incrementally participate, submitting information as it is available. Rankings are real-time, changing immediately as information is received.

Ranking Scoring Method:

RESET™:Measures solutions which positively impact ecological, social and/or economic environments.

  • RESET 3 = 7 points
  • RESET 2 = 6 points
  • RESET 1 = 5 points

MNI: Recognizes best-in-class solutions, those which meet current industry standards.

  • MNI A = 3 points = Best-in-Class
  • MNI B = 2 points = Promising
  • MNI C = 1 point = Weak
  • MNI - = 0 points = Data gap

User Submitted

Users are critical in helping identify potentially green materials. Together, users generate a critical mass of materials. In turn, this generates market demand to develop greener products. By submitting materials, users signal intention and demand for greener, healthier products and materials.

User Submitted materials are not ranked and require further research to include rankings, including comprehensive green data and statistics. This portion is open source meaning that anyone can edit User Submitted information. Note that only public domain resources can be copied without permission.

GIGA LCA Comprehensive Criteria

GIGA considers the impact materials have throughout their lifecycles: Sourcing, Production, Usage, Renewal.

SOURCING

S1. Biological Nutrients: Sustainable harvesting

Biological nutrients are also known as renewable resources: in other words living resources that grow. The harvesting of these resources must not compromise their ability to regenerate nor should it compromise the ability of the resources to support and be a part of the diverse ecosystem it is indigenous to. GIGA does not make a distinction for rapidly renewable materials. Rapidly renewable resources simply extract nutrients faster from the soil. Whether the resources are slowly or rapidly renewable makes no difference: nutrients should not be extracted faster than they can be naturally replenished. To qualify for this criterion manufacturers must submit certification documentation from FSC, SFI, or PEFC.

RESET™:Ranks sourcing methods which increase harvestable land area by regenerating previously damaged areas.

  • RESET 3: >10% / yr
  • RESET 2: 5-9% / yr
  • RESET 1: 0-4% / yr

MNI: Ranks sustainable harvesting strategies

  • A: Sustainable harvesting certification has been achieved and submitted
  • C: Sustainable harvesting is self-documented, submitted but not certified
  • -: Data gap. Potential unsustainable harvesting. Potential extraction from previously unharvested areas, with or without certification
S2. Technical Nutrients: Upcycled materials

All material resources on earth are finite. An increasing and alarming number of them have become scarce simply because we transform and dispose of them in ways that make them unusable for further use. Material resources must be sourced from other materials that have reached the end of their lives.

Recycling is often misunderstood - it is not good by default. Recycling saves new raw materials from being extracted and can prevent materials from ending in landfills. However there are two conditions to this. The first is that recyclable materials must also have an inherent value to ensure that they are not destined for landfills. The second is that recycling does not compromise the quality of the material. Recycling often degrades the quality of materials, producing downcycled materials which cannot be further recycled. Downcycling only delays the inevitable resting point for materials - the landfill. This delay is better than immediate disposal, however, RESET™ prioritizes upcycling.

Upcyling refers to materials which can be repeatedly recycled to produce materials of the same or superior quality as the original. Upcyclability is determined by GIGA’s Research Team based on product chemistry. To qualify for this criterion all sourcing partners must have their product chemistry documented (CAS Numbers and percent weight) by a recognized auditor, the results of which must be submitted to GIGA.

Note: This criterion applies to all materials.

RESET™: Ranks the use of upcycled materials.

  • RESET 3: 90-100% of materials come from upcycled sources
  • RESET 2: 60-89% of materials come from upcycled sources
  • RESET 1: 30-59% of materials come from upcycled sources

MNI: Ranks the use of recycled materials.

  • A: 90%-100% of materials come from recycled sources
  • B: 60-89% of materials come from recycled sources
  • C: 20-59% of materials come from recycled sources. Or, 20-100% of materials come from recycled sources that are self-documented and non-audited.
  • -: Data gap.
S3. Material Pooling

In nature, the waste of one is the resource of another. Material pooling refers to a network of manufacturers that share a pool of materials, whereby the waste of one manufacturer becomes the resource of another. Beyond eliminating waste, material pooling incentivizes the production of better materials, keeping toxins out of our environments while also reducing the need to extract virgin materials. To qualify for this criterion Manufacturers must document their activity within the pool, including whose waste they are acquiring and who is acquiring their waste. If you are interested in joining a Material Pool (sell or buy), please contact us.

Note: This criterion does not include consumables or materials that have a significant residual value which ensures they do not become waste. Residual value is considered on a regional basis by GIGA’s Research Team.

RESET™: Materials without significant residual value are sourced from and released to material pools.

  • RESET 1: Materials without significant residual value are sourced from and released to material pools.
  • -: Data gap.
S4. Regional sourcing

Supply chains can be enormously complex and misleading. For example, suppliers may have their factories next to the manufacturer who buy their product. To the manufacturer, these suppliers are local. However, their source of raw materials from could be thousands of kilometers away. Similarly, a raw material may be local to a manufacturer. However, if it is sent halfway around the world to be processed and sent back again, it is no longer local. This criterion documents the material sources of the suppliers. Regional sourcing not only reduces the embodied energy of materials, it also supports regional economies and creates social opportunities. To qualify for this criterion Suppliers must have the sourcing locations (disclosed with purchase orders) of all raw materials verified by a recognized auditor. Note that 800 km represents a regional radius. Suppliers may also be required to submit energy offsets. Offsets are accepted from recognized entities.

Note: This criterion applies to all materials.

RESET™: Recognizes Suppliers who offset more than 100% of transportation embodied energy.

  • RESET 1: More than 100% of transportation embodied energy is offset

MNI: Measures the amount of raw materials, by percent weight, that are regionally sourced.

  • A: 90%-100% raw materials are regionally sourced
  • B: 60-89% of raw materials are regionally sourced
  • C: 20-59% of raw materials are regionally sourced. Or, 20-100% of materials come from regional sources that are self-documented and non-audited.
  • -: Data gap. Or 0-19% of raw materials are regionally sourced
S5. Chemistry: Toxicity of sourcing

The preparation and transformation of materials must not involve the use of bio-accumulative or persistent chemicals. Other chemicals must not be present in doses that are harmful to the health of living systems. RESET™ recognizes hazard thresholds as defined by CPA. To qualify for this criterion Manufacturers must list all chemical constituents by relative percent weight. These include chemicals involved in the preparation and transformation of materials that may not necessarily end up in the final materials. Constituents are screened through GIGA’s quick chemical screen. RESET™ ranking require CPA licensed toxicologists to run chemical screens on all chemicals.

Note: This criterion applies to all materials.

RESET™: Ranks chemical identification and safe chemistry.

  • RESET 1: Material chemistry is fully disclosed and only includes Benchmark IV chemicals

MNI: Ranks materials based on chemical identification and chemical safety

  • A: Material chemistry is fully known and includes Benchmark III chemicals and above
  • B: Material chemistry is fully known and includes Benchmark II chemicals and above
  • C: Material chemistry is fully known and includes Benchmark I chemicals and above. Or, Material chemistry is fully defined* but only self-documented.
  • -: Data gap. Material Chemistry contains unknowns.

*Recognizes manufacturers who know their entire product chemistry even if related health hazards are not fully known.

S6. Supplier tracking and ranking

In most cases, Manufacturers know almost nothing about their own Suppliers. This severe problem is largely due to the fact that most Suppliers know very little about their own products. Tracking down all Supplier information is an enormously expensive and time-consuming task that has become the responsibility and burden of the end manufacturer.

GIGA alleviates this burden by recognizing that a supply chain is essentially a string of manufacturers, each one of which can be documented and ranked within this database.

MNI: Ranks the percentage of suppliers who have begun documenting the impact of their products within the database.

  • A: 90-100% of suppliers are documented
  • B: 60-89% of suppliers are documented
  • C: 20-59% of suppliers are documented
  • -: Data gap. Or, 0-19% of suppliers are documented

PRODUCTION

P1. Water Quality

Like all resources, water has become scarce. Clean water especially so. Manufacturers whose production processes use water have the unique opportunity to help solve what has become a serious global problem. Regenerative manufacturers produce clean water as a byproduct of production; positive impact is proportional to production - more production generates increasing volumes of cleaner water. At a minimum, effluent should be of the same quality as municipal water. To qualify for this criterion Manufacturers are required to submit water audits which measure and report COD (chemical oxygen demand), Heavy Metals (As, Cd, Cr, Cu, Hg, Pb), pH, TSS (total suspended soils), TPH (total petroleum hydrocarbons), BOD (biological oxygen demand), and pesticides. Water tests must be measured according to China's Ministry of Environmental Protection surface water test procedures and limits. Submitted audit reports must be conducted by recognized Auditors.

Note: This criterion applies to all materials.

RESET™: Manufacturing improves municipal water quality as a byproduct of production.

  • RESET 3: incremental improvement (2 levels)
  • RESET 2: incremental improvement (1 level)
  • RESET 1: Water discharge and water intake both at MEP Class I.

MNI: Measures chemical pollutants, particulates and biological organisms to determine the impact manufacturing has on surface water (mg/l).

  • A: MEP Class I
  • MEP Classes II and III
  • C: MEP Classes IV and V
  • -: Data gap. Or, does not meet MEP Class V
P2. Water Consumption Effectiveness

Optimizing water consumption saves money and diminishing resources. RESET™ compares Manufacturers within each material category and underscores those who waste the least amount of water. To qualify for this criterion Manufacturers are required to submit water intake, reuse, and discharge volumes. Currently no infrastructure exists to offset water consumption. Submitted audit reports must be conducted by recognized Auditors.

Note: This criterion applies to manufacturers who use water to produce materials.

Target Criterion: GIGA values water consumption efficiency, however the mechanism to quantify impact have not been developed yet. Target criteria do not contribute to material rankings.

RESET™: Manufacturers offset their water consumption by supporting water clean-up programs. At present this cannot be achieved as no infrastructure supports water offsets. Manufacturers who are looking to offset their water footprints, contact us.

MNI: Ranks water effectiveness: the volume of water which is wasted during production.

  • A: 90%-100% water effectiveness
  • B: 60-89% water effectiveness
  • C: 20-59% water effectiveness
  • -: Data gap. 0-19% water effectiveness
P3. Air Particulates

Consider an industrial park, filled with factories all billowing plumes of smoke into the atmosphere. Now imagine if these plumes were plumes of fresh air, cleaner than the air you are breathing. This criterion measures the impact that production has on air quality. Regenerative materials have a positive impact, improving air quality as a byproduct of production. RESET™ criteria measure Sulfur Dioxide (SO2), Nitrogen Dioxide (NO2), Particulate Matter (PM10), Carbon Monoxide (CO), and Ozone (O3) particulates. To qualify for this criterion manufacturers must submit air test reports conducted by recognized Auditors.

RESET™: Manufacturing cleans ambient air as a byproduct of production.

  • RESET 3: incremental improvement (2 levels)
  • RESET 2: incremental improvement (1 level)
  • RESET 1: Exhaust Air and surrounding air both at 0-50.

MNI: Measures production air pollution (particulates)

  • A: 0-50
  • B: 51-100
  • C: 101-300
  • -: Data gap. Or, > 300
P4. Air Quality (VOC)

Volatile Organic Compounds (VOCs) are airborne organic chemical compounds which can cause respiratory problems, irritation, and allergic responses. This criterion measures VOC particulate levels which off-gas during production. Ideally, manufacturing facilities absorb and neutralize VOCs. To qualify for this criterion Manufacturers must submit air test reports which measure TVOC (Total VOC) . TVOC calculations must include Formaldehyde, Benzene and Toluene. Submitted audit reports must be conducted by recognized Auditors.

Note: This criterion applies to all materials.

RESET™: Manufacturing absorbs VOCs as a byproduct of production.

  • RESET 3: incremental improvement (2 levels)
  • RESET 2: incremental improvement (1 level)
  • RESET 1: exhaust air and ambient air both at 0-99.

MNI: Ranks production VOCs within factories

  • A: 0-99 ug/m3
  • B: 100-299 ug/m3
  • C: 300-599 ug/m3
  • -: Data gap. Or, > 600 ug/m3
P5. Air: greenhouse gas (GHG) production

Carbon dioxide, methane, chlorofluorocarbon, and nitrous oxide are primary greenhouse gases which are directly linked to ozone depletion and global warming. Emissions may be created directly from burning fuel sources, or latently from energy sources that are not derived from solar income. Ideally, no greenhouse gases are generated during production. To qualify for this criterion Manufacturers must report their energy consumption, energy sources, and direct gas emissions. Submitted audit reports must be conducted by recognized Auditors.

Note: This criterion applies to all materials.

MNI: Ranks greenhouse gasses generated during production

  • A: 90-100th percentile of materials with the lowest GHG production
  • B: 60-89th percentile of materials with the lowest GHG production
  • C: 20-59th percentile of materials with the lowest GHG production
  • -: Data gap. Or, 0-19th percentile of materials with the lowest GHG production
P6. Soil: biodegradability / contamination

The loss of topsoil is a global environmental problem that is currently undervalued. Material extraction and development have significantly reduced arable land, and waste further degrades the arable land that remains. Manufacturers have an opportunity to help solve this critical global problem by creating topsoil as a byproduct of production. All solid waste degrades, though the rate and impact of degradation varies widely between materials. This criterion considers the degradation of solid waste from production, including unused raw materials, component materials and solid byproducts. The focus is toxicological, ensuring that solid waste helps rebuild soils as opposed to contaminate them. In other words, regenerative solid waste must contribute to healthy organic soil as it degrades. Inorganic materials (technical nutrients) degrade inertly. To qualify for this criterion, Manufacturers must list all solid waste including production byproducts , breaking them down to their CAS numbers. Alternately, solid waste can be analyzed for chemicals of concern by a recognized third party.

Note: This criterion applies to all materials.

RESET™: Measures the biodegradability and toxicological hazards of raw materials and component materials. Hazard assessment must be conducted by an accredited Toxicologist.

  • RESET 2: 100% of production raw materials, component materials, and solid byproducts can degrade into non-toxic, organic topsoil, which is actively used to regenerate topsoil.
  • RESET 1: Non-toxic organic waste produced under MNI A, B & C is actively used to regenerate topsoil.

MNI: Ranks the impact production has on soil.

  • A: 90-100% of raw materials, component materials, and solid byproducts are biodegradable or are inert
  • B: 60-89% of raw materials, component materials, and solid byproducts are biodegradable or are inert
  • C: 20-59% of raw materials, component materials, and solid byproducts are biodegradable or are inert
  • -: Data gap. or 0-19% of raw materials, component materials, and solid byproducts are biodegradable or are inert
P7. Embodied energy / Energy efficiency

Until current solar income is the only available source of energy, efficiency and optimization are critical to minimize the negative impact of manufacturing. This criterion compares the embodied energy of materials within a material category, prioritizing those with the lowest embodied energy. To qualify for this criterion Manufacturers must submit embodied energy reports, which require claims verification conducted by recognized Auditors.

Note: This criterion applies to all materials.

MNI: Ranks the embodied energy required to produce materials.

  • A: 90-100th percentile of materials with the lowest total embodied energy within a material category.
  • B: 60-89th percentile of materials with the lowest embodied energy within a material category.
  • C: 20-59th percentile of materials with the lowest embodied energy within a material category.
  • -: Data gap. Or, 0-19th percentile of materials with the lowest embodied energy within a material category.
P8. Carbon management (neutrality) & Solar income

Current solar income refers to the total energy provided from sunlight which currently falls on the earth's surface. Energy derived from the sun can be converted into clean energy sources, free of waste, pollution, or emissions. Viable sources of current solar income include solar energy (photovoltaics, solar tubes), geothermal, wind and hydro power technologies.

These energy sources are not without their problems; solar panels are energy intensive to create, use rare raw materials, and have fairly short life spans. Wind energy tends to have a low efficiency to embodied energy ratio. Hydro power alters the hydrology of waterways. However, clean energy technologies are constantly evolving and need to be reassessed often. Supporting the development of current solar income energy infrastructures is an important key to our energy future.

When current solar income energy sources are unavailable, manufacturers can still participate by offsetting energy used from other energy sources to develop new energy infrastructures. To qualify for this criterion Manufacturers must submit energy bills indicating the energy sources used, or offsets must be invested in current solar income energy infrastructures and appropriate certifications must be provided. Offsets are accepted from providers who are registered on the carbon exchange.

Note: This criterion applies to all materials.

RESET™: Recognizes manufacturers who generate solar income or invest in its development.

  • RESET 1: Production generates energy and/or more than 100% of energy consumed is offset in current solar income infrastructures.

MNI: Ranks energy sourced from current solar income and carbon offsets.

  • A: 100% of production energy is sourced from current solar income or energy consumption is entirely offset
  • B: 99-60% of energy is sourced from current solar income or 99-60% of energy consumption is offset
  • C: 59-20% of energy is sourced from current solar income or 59-30% of energy consumption is offset
  • -: Data gap. Or 19-0% of energy is sourced from current solar income or 29-0% of energy consumption is offset
P9. Upcycling: production waste as resource

Recycling is often misunderstood - it is not good by default. Recycling saves new raw materials from being extracted and can prevent materials from ending in landfills. However there are two conditions to this. The first is that recyclable materials must also have an inherent value to ensure that they are not destined for landfills. The second is that recycling does not compromise the quality of the material. Recycling often degrades the quality of materials, producing downcycled materials which cannot be further recycled. Downcycling only delays the inevitable resting point for materials - the landfill. This delay is better than immediate disposal, however, RESET™ prioritizes upcycling.

Upcyling refers to materials which can be repeatedly recycled to produce materials of the same or superior quality as the original. Upcyclability is determined by GIGA’s Research Team based on product chemistry. This criterion focuses on pre-consumer upcycling. In other words, upcycling of waste within the factory. To qualify for this criterion all manufacturers must document the pre-consumer upcycling process and have it verified by a recognized third party auditor.

Note: This criterion applies to all materials.

RESET™: Ranks material that are entirely upcycled from waste streams.

  • RESET 1: Pre-consumer waste is completely upcycled.

MNI: Ranks the amount of raw materials which are recycled from waste streams

  • A: 90-100% of pre-consumer waste is recycled
  • B: 60-89% of pre-consumer waste is recycled
  • C: 20-59% of pre-consumer waste is recycled or 20-100% of pre-consumer waste is recycled and is self documented.
  • -: Data gap. Or, 0-19% of pre-consumer waste is recycled
P10. Re-use: waste as resource

Re-use implies that materials are technical nutrients and can be used without requiring alteration or re-manufacturing. This keeps wastes out of the biosphere while keeping additional raw materials from being extracted and processed. Manufacturers are challenged to develop materials which can be reused within circular revenue models. To qualify for this criterion Manufacturers must list all material constituents and related suppliers by relative percent weight. Materials not previously designed for disassembly may require claims to be verified by a recognized Auditor.

Note: This criterion does not apply to materials which are entirely (100%) biodegradable / consumable.

RESET™: Recognizes materials which are produced in a circular economy.

  • RESET 1: Materials are entirely reused from waste streams and do not require reprocessing (circular economy).


MNI: (%) Ranks the amount of re-used content (by weight) used to produce materials. (Note: This criterion only considers content which is not sourced from harvested or recycled sources).

  • A: 80-99% of materials are re-used from waste streams
  • B: 60-79% of materials are re-used from waste streams
  • C: 20-59% of materials are re-used from waste streams or 20-100% of materials are re-used from waste streams and are self documented.
  • -: Data gap. Or, 0-19% of materials are re-used from waste streams
P11. Ecology Information Loop

Manufacturers are their own greatest competitors. Benchmarking is an effective optimization tool, enabling diligent and deliberate manufacturers to make improvements and gain market value for them. Progress can only be made if baselines and benchmarks are established. This criterion recognizes progressive manufacturers who track their ecological impact with EMS programs. This is a critical first step towards developing positive impact materials and manufacturing solutions. To qualify for this criterion Manufacturers must complete EMS benchmarking using PROBE systematic frameworks, ISO 14001, or equivalent EMS systems (equivalency is determined on a case-by-case basis).

Note: This criterion applies to all materials.

RESET™: Recognizes manufacturers who publicly benchmark their EMS results.

  • RESET 1: Manufacturers implement PROBE Environment Management System (EMS), record positive results, and report them for benchmarking.


MNI: Encourages manufacturers to implement and record Environment Management Systems (EMS).

  • A: ISO 14001 is implemented, certification is achieved and submitted.
  • C: Environmental impact data is collected, though is not systematically recorded
  • -: Data gap. No environmental data is collected
P12. Toxicity of production & installation

Our healthy future depends on the development of non-toxic materials. RESET™ recognizes hazard thresholds as defined by CPA. All Manufacturers are challenged to produce materials that are non-toxic. The installation of materials is considered as part of an extended production process; this criterion also considers additional materials which are required to complete installation or application procedures. To qualify for this criterion Manufacturers must list all material constituents by CAS number and relative percent weight. Constituents are screened through GIGA’s quick chemical screen. RESET™ ranking require CPA licensed toxicologists to run chemical screens on all chemicals.

Note: This criterion applies to all materials.

RESET™: Ranks chemical identification and safe chemistry.

  • RESET 1: Material chemistry is fully disclosed and only includes Benchmark IV chemicals

MNI: Ranks materials based on chemical disclosure and chemical safety

  • A: Material chemistry is fully known and includes Benchmark III chemicals and above
  • B: Material chemistry is fully known and includes Benchmark II chemicals and above
  • C: Material chemistry is fully known includes Benchmark I chemicals and above. Or, Material chemistry is fully known but only self-documented.
  • -: Data gap. Material Chemistry contains unknowns.
P13. Radiation / EMF

Radiation can mutate our bodies' cells, damaging their ability to operate normally, repair themselves, or can cause mass cell multiplication. Mutations can impact physical development, cognitive development, motor skills, reproductive health, or can cause cancer. This criterion considers worker safety and measures radiation levels within factories. Radiation sources include raw materials, production processes, proximity to high-voltage power lines and mobile phone towers. To qualify for this criterion Manufacturers must list all material constituents and qualitatively explain production procedures.

Note: This criterion applies to all materials.

Target Criterion: GIGA values safe radiation levels and controlled Electro-magnetic fields, however the mechanism to quantify impact have not been developed yet. Target criteria do not contribute to material rankings.

MNI: Ranks manufacturing processes based on radiation production.

  • A: No radiation is emitted
  • B: Radiation levels comply with international industry standards
  • -: Data gap. Or, radiation levels fail international industry standards
P14. Safety of Factory

Manufacturing risks vary from industry to industry, however, factory safety should be prioritized across all of them. To qualify for this criterion, Manufacturers must follow safety standards and measure and report results. Manufacturers may initiate their own safety standards though RESET™ standards require OHSAS 18001 Certification. To qualify for this criterion manufacturers must submit OHSAS 18001 Certification results or independent safety reports.

Note: This criterion applies to all materials.

MNI: Ranks the safety of manufacturing environments.

  • A: Factory has achieved OHSAS 18001 Certification and results are reported
  • C: Factory safety complies with self-determined standards, which are documented and reported
  • -: Data gap. Or, no safety standards are implemented or reported
P15. Equal Opportunity

The same opportunity in different hands will always create different unequal results. Thus, equality can only be measured in terms of equal opportunity. Beyond compliance with international labor laws, manufacturers are encouraged to make training programs and educational opportunities equally available to all staff. To qualify for this criterion Manufacturers must prove compliance with international labor laws (ILO) and indicate training and/or offer and measure training or educational programs. All programs must be reported and benchmarked through PROBE EMS or equivalent systems.

Note: This criterion applies to all materials.

RESET™: Ranks manufacturers who offer staff opportunities beyond international labor laws. To qualify for this criterion Manufacturers must submit HRMS documentation, which require claims verification conducted by recognized Auditors.

  • RESET 1: Manufacturer complies with or goes beyond international labor laws and equally offers education and training opportunities to all staff.

MNI: Ranks compliance with international labor laws.

  • A: Complies with international labor laws.
  • C: Compliance with international labor laws is self documented.
  • -: Data gap. Or, does not comply with international labor laws
P16. Social enhancement program

Factories should support the communities which support them. Beyond providing employment, manufacturers have a unique opportunity to positively impact communities with educational programs, daycare programs, community gardens, cleaner ecosystems, etc. Manufacturers are encouraged to set their own programs, goals and targets for community involvement. To qualify for this criterion, Manufacturers must register their programs with recognized CSR organizations to garner support for outreach initiatives. The impact of programs must also be publicly communicated.

Note: This criterion applies to all materials.

RESET™: Recognizes manufacturers who positively impact their communities.

  • RESET 1: Community enhancement programs are properly registered and reported

MNI: Ranks programs that are independently run and documented.

  • C: Community enhancement programs are independently run and documented.
  • -: Data gap. Or, no social enhancement programs are implemented.
P17. Innovation

RESET™ recognizes innovation: new solutions to previously unsolved problems. New ideas and approaches are critically needed to help solve the broad ecological problems we now face. RESET™ supports innovation by recognizing Manufacturers who have pioneered regenerative solutions or implement biomimetic systems. To qualify for this criterion, Manufacturers must submit an explanation of their innovation and resulting impact. Manufacturers may also submit patent documentation where applicable. This criterion is reviewed on a case by case basis by GIGA’s research team.

Note: This criterion applies to all materials.



RESET™: Recognizes biomimetic and regenerative solutions.

  • RESET 1: Materials are biomimetic or are regenerative solutions to industry problems


MNI: Material is innovative, solving a previously unsolved industry problem.

  • A: Manufacturer is the first within a material category to solve an environmental problem pertaining to the industry.
  • -: Data gap.
P18. Social Information Loop

Beyond providing employment, manufacturing can positively impact employees’ lives and surrounding communities. This starts first with measuring impact to assess opportunities for optimization. Manufacturers who track the social impact of production are taking the critical first step towards developing positive impact materials and manufacturing solutions. To qualify for this criterion manufacturers must report their social impact using PROBE or an equivalent measuring system. Equivalency is considered on a case-by-case basis.

Note: This criterion applies to all materials.

RESET™: Recognizes Manufacturers who document and benchmark the social impact of their operations.

  • RESET 1: Manufacturers implement PROBE or equivalent Human Resources Management System (HRMS), record positive results, and report them for benchmarking.

MNI: Encourages Manufacturers to measure and record the social impacts of production.

  • C: Human Resources Management System is independently implemented and documented.
  • -: Data gap.
P19. Design for disassembly and resource separation

Disassembly refers to materials which can be easily separated after demolition or are designed to be taken apart - designed to be broken down into original components for reuse. This criterion only recognizes materials which are economically viable to disassemble. For example, a chair which takes 10 hours to disassemble probably won’t be. It costs more to pay someone to disassemble the parts than they are inherently worth. Disassembly is a necessary first step to developing material pooling infrastructures and circular economies. To qualify for this criterion, Manufacturers must explain how materials are designed to be disassembled or separated after demolition. Where applicable, disassembly instructions and/or videos must also be submitted and made publicly available.

Note: This criterion does not apply to materials which are entirely (100%) biodegradable, consumable or are entirely reused.

MNI: Ranks the disassemble-ability of materials.

  • A: Materials are designed to be entirely disassembled and/or easily separated
  • B: 50-99% (by weight) of materials are designed to be disassembled and/or easily separated
  • C: 49-1% (by weight) of materials are designed to be disassembled and/or easily separated
  • -: Data gap. Or, material cannot be disassembled
P20. Zero Solid Waste

Though waste streams are designed to operate behind the scenes, waste doesn't actually disappear when it is taken away. Instead, discarded materials re-enter our production streams almost instantly after being disposed of, often in very consequential industries like food production. Intentional or not, wastes are the building blocks for new production streams. Waste is a resource, whether we plan for it or not.

Regenerative design acknowledges that wastes are valuable design resources and must intentionally create positive renewal cycles. Manufacturers must ask not only how their materials will be produced and used, but also how they will be discarded and reused. Keeping wastes out of landfills keeps toxins out of our natural environments while reducing the need to extract more natural resources for production. To qualify for this criterion, Manufacturers must audit their waste elimination process with approved auditors.

Note: This criterion applies to all materials.

RESET™: Manufacturing wastes contribute to material pools.

  • RESET 1: Recognizes Manufacturers who contribute to material pools.


MNI: (%) Ranks the amount of production wastes, as a percentage of raw material weight.

  • A: No wastes are discarded
  • B: 1-19% of raw materials used are discarded as waste
  • C: 20-59% of raw materials used are discarded as waste or 0-59% of waste materials are self-documented as being diverted from waste streams
  • -: Data gap. Or, 60-100% of raw materials used are discarded as waste
P21. Regional sourcing

Manufacturing has become a global activity. The simplest of products might source components from three different continents. Regional sourcing not only reduces the embodied energy of materials, it also supports regional economies and creates social opportunities. To qualify for this criterion Manufacturers must provide the location (disclosed with purchase orders) of all suppliers. Note that 800 km represents a regional radius. Manufacturers may also be required to submit energy offsets. Offsets are accepted from providers who are registered on the carbon exchange.

Note: This criterion applies to all materials.

RESET™: Recognizes Manufacturers who offset more than 100% of transportation embodied energy.

  • RESET 1: More than 100% of transportation embodied energy is offset

MNI: Measures the number of suppliers that are regional.

  • A: All (100%) of suppliers are regional
  • B: 60-99% of suppliers are regional
  • C: 20-59% of suppliers are regional. Or, 20-100% of suppliers are regional which are self-documented and non-disclosed with purchase orders.
  • -: Data gap. Or, 0-19% of suppliers are regional
P22. Packaging

Packaging has a very short useful life and typically makes use of inexpensive materials with little to no residual value. Due to this, the probability that packaging gets fully upcycled or downcycled is marginal, even for materials with an established recycling industry such as cardboard. Therefore, all packaging must be biodegradable (biological nutrient). Exceptions exist for manufacturers that utilize and manage reusable packaging, ensuring that it is reused for the delivery of new products. In such cases, the residual value of the packaging may be high enough to ensure that it is fully upcycled. Note that packaging is composed of single or multiple materials and products that can be documented by the criteria contained within this database.

To qualify for this criterion, materials for packaging must be documented according to R4 or R5 at a minimum.

RESET™: Ranks packaging that either regenerates soil or is fully upcycled.

  • RESET 1: 100% of packaging qualifies for RESET 1 under R4 or R5.

MNI: Ranks the biodegradability of end products or their recyclability.

  • A: 90-100% of packaging meets MNI A for R4 or R5.
  • B: 60-89% of packaging meets MNI B for R4 or R5.
  • C: 20-59% of packaging meets MNI C for R4 or R5.
  • -: Data gap.
P23. Biological nutrient / Technical nutrient

Consistent with Cradle to Cradle concepts, materials must be defined as either technical nutrients or biological nutrients. These classifications, though simple, are the first steps to developing service economies or composting infrastructures. When materials are hybrids, they become increasingly difficult to reuse, recycle or biodegrade. Chances are, hybrid materials will end up in a landfill when discarded. To qualify for this criterion Manufacturers must list all material constituents and end components.

Note: This criterion applies to all materials.

RESET™: Ranks optimized biological and technical nutrients.

  • RESET 1: Material can be entirely classified as an optimized biological or technical nutrient. If a hybrid, material is designed to be broken down into optimized biological and technical nutrients. Optimized refers to materials whose upcylability or biodegradability is not compromised by other chemicals and treatments, such as powder-coated steel.

MNI: Ranks the ability for materials to be classified.

  • A: Material can be entirely classified as non-optimized biological or technical nutrient. If a hybrid, material is designed to be broken down into biological and technical nutrients
  • -: Data gap. Or, material cannot be classified either entirely as a biological or technical nutrient
P24. Economic information loop

Given the ecological and social impacts of production, it is important that revenue models are profitable while placing value on ecological and social environments. RESET serves to highlight and prioritize Manufacturers whose’s businesses profit as a byproduct of regenerating ecosystems and communities. To qualify for this criterion. Profit / economic activity must be tied to ecological and social improvement. Manufacturers must submit a description of how the business activity is intrinsically tied to social and environmental impact (P11 & P18).

Note: This criterion applies to all materials.

RESET™: Ranks production methods that are profitable only when environments are regenerated. (social and ecological are also RESET)

  • RESET 2: Social and Ecological regeneration are intrinsically linked to economic activity.
  • RESET 1: Social or Ecological regeneration is intrinsically linked to economic activity.


MNI: Ranks the impact of circular economy strategies.

  • A: Manufacturer invests in regenerative activities and/or some profit is intrinsically linked to ecological or community regeneration (meets MNI in P11 & P18 and manufacturer investment / link to economic activity)
  • -: Data gap. No economic information is available

USAGE

U1. Water Quality

Clean water is a fundamental need of all people. Fixtures, plumbing accessories, and appliances can support this need by filtering water as a byproduct of use. Sinks, toilets, aerators, pipes, dishwashers, etc., can be regenerative. Each has the opportunity to filter and improve the quality of municipal water. To qualify for this criterion, tests indicating filtration performance and/or effluent quality must be conducted by recognized auditors and institutions and reports must be submitted for review.

Note: This criterion only applies to materials that discharge water.

RESET™: Ranks materials which improve municipal water when used.

  • RESET 1: Material improves municipal water when used


MNI: Ranks the impact that materials have on water systems.

  • A: No impact, water quality remains unchanged
  • -: Data gap. Or, negative impact, water quality is degraded by material
U2. Water efficiency

Fixtures, plumbing accessories, and appliances need to use water. This is a subtractive process making positive impact impossible. At best, Materials can be optimized for minimal water consumption. To qualify for this criterion test must be conducted by recognized auditors and reports which indicate flow rate must be submitted. A reduction coefficient of .85* is applied to faucets with automatic shut-off.

*Based on conservative industry average.

Note: This criterion does not apply for materials which are not connected to water municipalities.

MNI: Ranks and compares water consumption, prioritizing low consumption.

  • A: 90-100th percentile of fixtures with low-flow rate (L/min or L/flush)
  • B: 60-89th percentile of fixtures with low-flow rate (L/min or L/flush)
  • C: 20-59th percentile of fixtures with low-flow rate (L/min or L/flush)
  • -: Data gap. Or, 0-19th percentile of fixtures with low-flow rate (L/min or L/flush)
U3. Air particulates (pollution)

All materials begin degrading into particles, as soon as they are produced. These particles are released into the air, are breathed in or are absorbed by soil after rain storms. At a minimum materials should be benign; non-disruptive to human health, ecosystems, and groundwater sources. Regenerative materials go one step further by absorbing particulates to reduce air pollution and/or neutralize toxins. RESET™ requires Manufacturers to measure and report Sulfur Dioxide (SO2), Nitrogen Dioxide (NO2), Particulate Matter (PM10), Carbon Monoxide (CO), and Ozone (O3) particulates. To qualify for this criterion air tests must be conducted by recognized auditors and reports must be submitted for review.

Note: This criterion applies to all materials and considers their degradation do to normal use.

RESET™: Ranks materials which clean ambient air when used.

  • RESET 1: Material cleans ambient air when used


MNI: Ranks the level of particulate matter which is emitted from materials.

  • A: 0-25 ug/m3 maximum emission level measured
  • B: 26-50 ug/m3 maximum emission level measured
  • C: 51-150 ug/m3 maximum emission level measured
  • -: Data gap.: Or, > 150 ug/m3 maximum emission level measured
U4. Air quality (VOC)

Indoor air quality is significantly impacted by VOC emissions. When inhaled, VOCs can irritate immune and respiratory systems or cause allergic reactions. Regenerative materials absorb and/or neutralize VOC emissions, though at a minimum materials should have VOC levels within industry standards for healthy indoor environments. To qualify for this criterion, air tests which measure TVOC (Total VOC), and formaldehyde emissions must be conducted by recognized auditors and test reports must be submitted for review.

Note: This criterion applies to all materials.

RESET™: Ranks materials which absorb and/or neutralize VOCs.

  • RESET 1: Material absorbs and/or neutralizes VOCs


MNI: Ranks the level of VOC emissions.

  • A: 90-100th percentile of materials with the lowest TVOC and formaldehyde emissions
  • B: 60-89th percentile of materials with the lowest TVOC and formaldehyde emissions
  • C: 20-59th percentile of materials with the lowest TVOC and formaldehyde emissions
  • -: Data gap. Or, 0-19th percentile of materials with the lowest TVOC and formaldehyde emissions
U5. Energy Efficiency - usage

Appliances, lights, and other machines need to use energy. Similar to water usage, this is a subtractive process that can’t be positive. At best, materials can be optimized to be energy efficient. Other materials make buildings more energy efficient: insulation, cladding, windows, etc.

To qualify for this criterion energy use or thermal resistance certifications and/or test reports must be conducted by recognized testing agencies and must be submitted for review.

Note: This criterion only applies to materials which use energy, or are part of thermal resistance or enclosure systems.

MNI: Ranks materials with the lowest energy usage ratting or the highest thermal resistance rating.

  • A: 90-100th percentile of materials with the lowest energy usage rating or thermal resistance rating
  • B: 60-89th percentile of materials with the lowest energy usage rating or thermal resistance rating
  • C: 20-59th percentile of materials with the lowest energy usage rating or thermal resistance rating
  • -: Data gap: Or, 0-19th percentile of materials with the lowest energy usage rating or thermal resistance rating
U6. Current solar income & Clean renewable energy

Current solar income energy sources are renewable sources which do not generate waste or pollution when used. Viable current solar income energy sources include solar energy (photovoltaics, solar tubes), geothermal, and wind (includes hydro power) technologies. Solar income energy sources are not without their problems. See P8 for more details.

Despite these problems, current solar income energy sources are constantly evolving and need to be reassessed often. Materials which make current solar income usable are critical to securing safe, clean, reliable energy for the future (energy security). To qualify for this criterion, energy test reports must be conducted by recognized testing agencies and must be submitted for review.

Note: This criterion only applies to materials which have a precedent for clean renewable energy production.

RESET™: Ranks materials which most effectively produce energy from current solar income.

  • RESET 3: 90th-100th percentile of materials with the highest energy production rate multiplied by lifespan
  • RESET 2: 50th-89th percentile of materials with the highest energy production rate multiplied by lifespan
  • RESET 1: 0-49th percentile of materials with the highest energy production rate multiplied by lifespan

MNI: Ranks renewable energy production from renewable sources excluding current solar income.

  • A: 90th-100th percentile of materials with the highest energy production rate
  • B: 50th-89th percentile of materials with the highest energy production rate
  • C: 20-49th percentile of materials with the highest energy production rate
  • -: Data gap. Or, 0-19th percentile of materials with the highest energy production rate
U7. Human health & Toxicity of use

All materials which shape our indoor environments begin degrading immediately after they are installed. Everything around you is breaking into microscopic particles. These particles float around our environment and are ingested. Every day, in addition to the food you eat, you are also eating a healthy dose of the floors, walls, ceilings, and furniture that surround you. Materials embedded with toxins are harmful or lethal long after they are produced and installed. These toxins enter our bodies and ecosystems undermining the health and safety of each. The best materials are non-toxic and benign. To qualify for this criterion manufacturers must list all material constituents by CAS number. Constituents are run through GIGA’s quick chemical screen. RESET™ Rankings require licensed toxicologists to run full screens on all chemicals.

Note: This criterion applies to all materials.

RESET™: Ranks chemical identification and safe chemistry.

  • RESET 1: Material chemistry is fully disclosed and only includes Benchmark IV chemicals

MNI: Ranks materials based on chemical disclosure and chemical safety

  • A: Material chemistry is fully known and includes Benchmark III chemicals and above.
  • B: Material chemistry is fully known and includes Benchmark II chemicals and above
  • C: Material chemistry is fully known includes Benchmark I chemicals and above. Or, Material chemistry is fully known but only self-documented.
  • -: Data gap. Or, material Chemistry contains unknowns.
U8. Radiation

Radiation mutates and damages cells throughout living systems. Radiation exists naturally in our environment and our bodies are inherently equipped to counter moderate levels of exposure. Increased amounts of radiation compromises this ability. Eliminating exposure to radiation enables the body to naturally and effectively counter cell mutation and damage.

Some materials produce radiation as a byproduct of operation (some compact fluorescent lights, for example). The benefit of using these materials must be weighed against the known effects of radiation exposure. When radiating materials must be used, however, their proximity to our bodies dictates their impact. Properly locating radiating materials can reduce the negative impact of radiation. To qualify, radiation tests must be conducted by recognized auditors and submitted for review.

RESET™: Recognizes materials which block or diffuse radiation.

  • RESET 1: Material blocks or diffuses radiation


MNI: Ranks radiation emitted when end products are used.

  • A: No radiation is emitted
  • B: Radiation levels comply with international industry standards
  • -: Data gap. Or, radiation levels fail international industry standards
U9. Safety of Use

If designed improperly, all materials can become health hazards. Consider a tile floor. Without appropriate slip coefficients, floors are slippery and dangerous. Each material category has unique critical safety parameters. To qualify for this criterion Manufacturers must submit industry specific technical reports which measure specified safety parameters. At a minimum, tests must be measured according to Chinese, Hong Kong, and/or Taiwan safety standards by nationally accredited testing agencies. Note: This criterion applies to all materials.

MNI: Ranks compliance with industry safety standards and regulations.

  • A: Meets industry safety standards and regulations
  • -: Data gap. Or, does not meet industry safety standards and regulations
U10. Local Market

Local markets reduce transportation energy consumption and pollution while developing regional economies and social opportunities. This criterion measures the distance between manufacturing facilities and distribution locations. Users are encouraged to also identify materials which are sourced closest to project sites. RESET™ defines local as being within a 800 kilometer radius. Manufacturers can make a positive impact by offsetting all transportation embodied energy and emissions. Ideally, all materials are sourced locally. To qualify for this criterion, Manufacturers must submit annual distribution locations and distribution volumes to each.

RESET™: Ranks when over 100% of transportation embodied energy and emissions are offset. Offsets are accepted from providers who are registered on the carbon exchange.

  • RESET 1: More than 100% of transportation embodied energy and emissions are offset

MNI: Ranks materials prioritizing regional sales networks.

  • A: 90-100% of materials are sold locally
  • B: 60-89% of materials are sold locally
  • C: 20-59% of materials are sold locally
  • -: Data gap. Or, 0-19% of materials are sold locally
U11. Service Economy / Circular Economy

Materials that are part of circular economies are leased rather than sold. Money is made as materials are used. This economically incentivizes the use of better raw materials and the production of better end products. Circular economies also prioritize reuse and upcycling ensures materials remain in production and use cycles. Successful circular economies significantly reduce material extraction, pollution, waste and toxicity. They also often create long-term clients. Regenerative Manufacturers operate circular economic models, ensuring economic profits directly correlate with positive environmental impact. To qualify, Manufacturers must submit standard leasing contracts and , program details, and a list of participating clients (for review).

Note: This criterion does not apply for biodegradable or consumable materials.

RESET™: Ranks regenerative circular economies.

  • RESET 1: Material is leased as part of a circular economy.

RENEWAL

R1. Water Quality

Assuming the worst, materials eventually fall out of production loops and are left unattended in the biosphere, slowly degrading over time. As materials break down, their particles are absorbed by topsoil and leech into surface water (ground water, lakes, rivers, etc.). All materials will degrade - this is unavoidable. The impact of degradation differentiates regenerative materials from others. Regenerative materials improve the quality of surface water or topsoil, though at a minimum materials should have a net zero impact on water and soil systems. Note that this criterion only considers physical degradation - burning, chemical treatment, or other special cases of disposal are not considered here. To qualify for this criterion, Manufacturers must list all end components according to CAS numbers. Chemicals are run through GIGA’s chemical Quick Screen. RESET™ Rankings require licensed toxicologists to analyze unknown chemicals which remain following the Quick Screen.

Note: This criterion applies to all materials.

RESET™: Ranks chemical identification and safe chemistry.

  • RESET 1: Material chemistry is fully disclosed and only includes Benchmark IV chemicals

MNI: Ranks materials based on chemical disclosure and chemical safety

  • A: Material chemistry is fully known and includes Benchmark III chemicals, or better
  • B: Material chemistry is fully known and includes Benchmark II chemicals, or better
  • C: Material chemistry is fully known includes Benchmark I chemicals, or better
  • -: Data gap. Or, material Chemistry contains unknowns.
R2. Air Quality (VOC)

Though the majority of VOC's dissipate from materials during use, they never entirely disappear. Materials left unattended in the biosphere emit VOCs until they degrade entirely. Ideally materials do not contain VOCs. To qualify for this criterion, manufacturers must submit air test reports which measure TVOC (Total VOC) and/ or formaldehyde emissions, as determined by each material category. To qualify for this criterion, air tests must be conducted by recognized auditors and test reports must be submitted for review.

MNI: Ranks materials based on VOC emissions

  • A: 90-100th percentile of materials with the lowest VOC or formaldehyde emissions
  • B: 60-89th percentile of materials with the lowest VOC or formaldehyde emissions
  • C: 20-59th percentile of materials with the lowest VOC or formaldehyde emissions
  • -: Data gap. Or, 0-19th percentile of materials with the lowest VOC or formaldehyde emissions
R3. Air: Greenhouse Gas production

Demolition and dismantling requires energy. In certain cases, energy use is significant, such as for the demolition of reinforced concrete. In other cases, energy use is minimal, such as for a chair designed for disassembly. In cases where the most probable energy source will be derived from fossil fuels, the resulting emissions must be accounted for. Further more, materials and products that contain greenhouse gases (carbon dioxide, methane, chlorofluorocarbon, or nitrous oxide) must include these in their calculations given that these gases will be released at the product or material’s end of life. Finally, the emissions from the decomposition of organic materials must also be accounted for. Within each material category, MNI prioritizes materials that generate the least amount of greenhouse gases while RESET™ prioritizes materials that absorb greenhouse gasses. To qualify for this criterion under MNI, manufacturers must calculate the estimated energy required for dismantling and demolition or show documented figures from use cases. To qualify for RESET, manufacturers must show absorption tests done by a recognized third party.

RESET™: Ranks materials which absorb greenhouse gasses.

  • RESET 1: Material absorbs Greenhouse gasses.

MNI: Measures the estimated amount of GHG when materials are dismantled.

  • A: 90-100th percentile of materials with the lowest GHG production when dismantled or left to decompose (CO2/m3)
  • B: 60-89th percentile of materials with the lowest GHG production when dismantled (CO2/m3)
  • C: 20-59th percentile of materials with the lowest GHG production when dismantled (CO2/m3)
  • -: Data gap. Or, 0-19th percentile of materials with the lowest GHG production when dismantled (CO2/m3)
R4. Soil: Biodegradability

When materials fall out of production loops, they degrade in the biosphere. All materials (organic or inorganic) will degrade over time, breaking down into small particles. As an example, consider non-biodegradable plastics which degrade to particles that are consumed by living organisms such as fish. In turn, that plastic becomes our lunch. Intentionally or not, waste is used by other forms of production making it critical that it biodegrades or is intentionally designed for reuse or upcycling. This criterion considers the degradation of materials and products and focuses on their toxicology, ensuring that the solid waste helps rebuild soils as opposed to contaminate them. In other words, regenerative solid waste must contribute to healthy organic soil as it degrades. To qualify for this criterion, Manufacturers must list all end components, breaking them down to their CAS numbers. Alternately, solid waste can be analyzed for chemicals of concern by a recognized third party.

Note: This criterion does not apply to materials that are upcyclable. However, materials that are both upcyclable and biodegradable can choose to apply for this criterion. Also note that for hybrid materials and products that can easily be disassembled, end components are divided into three types: upcyclable, biodegradable, and downcyclable. The below calculation divides biodegradable components by the sum of biodegradable and downcyclable components.

RESET™: Recognizes materials that regenerate soil.

  • RESET 1: Material entirely biodegrades into non-toxic organic topsoil, based on the chemical structure of end components.


MNI: Measures the biodegradability of end products.

  • A: 90-100% of end products are biodegradable
  • B: 60-89% of end products materials are biodegradable
  • C: 20-59% of end products materials are biodegradable
  • -: Data gap. Or, 0-19% of end products materials are biodegradable
R5. Upcycling

Recycling is often misunderstood - it is not good by default. Recycling saves new raw materials from being extracted and can prevent materials from ending in landfills. However there are two conditions to this. The first is that recyclable materials must also have an inherent value to ensure that they are not destined for landfills. The second is that recycling does not compromise the quality of the material. Recycling often degrades the quality of materials, producing downcycled materials which cannot be further recycled. Downcycling only delays the inevitable resting point for materials - the landfill. This delay is better than immediate disposal, however, RESET™ prioritizes upcycling.

Upcyling refers to materials which can be repeatedly recycled to produce materials of the same or superior quality as the original. Upcyclability is determined by GIGA’s Research Team based on product chemistry. This criterion focuses on pre-consumer upcycling. In other words, upcycling of waste within the factory. To qualify for this criterion Manufacturers must list all end components by relative percent weight. Upcyclability is determined by GIGA’s Research Team based on product chemistry.

RESET™: Recognizes materials with value.

  • RESET 1: Material can be entirely upcycled

MNI: Ranks materials according to recyclability.

  • A: 90-100% recyclable
  • B: 60-89% recyclable
  • C: 20-59% recyclable
  • -: Data gap. Or, 0-19% recyclable
R6. Human health & Toxicity of renewal

Our healthy future depends on the development of non-toxic materials. RESET™ considers toxicity limits to be unrealistic; too little is known about long term effects of toxins to classify them as safe. Only measurements of zero toxicity can be guaranteed as being safe. All manufacturers are challenged to produce materials that are non-toxic. Persistent bio-accumulative chemicals are of particular concern because their negative effects do not dissipate, rather they increase over time. Since all waste is reused (intentionally or otherwise) it is critical that it is non-toxic to ensure the health and safety of ecosystems and all living organisms, today and for the future.

Consumers are responsible for how materials are disposed of; without reclamation programs, disposal methods cannot be guaranteed. This criterion considers the following cases of disposal: combustion, physical decomposition, and UV degradation. To qualify for this criterion Manufacturers must list all end components by relative percent weight. End components are run through GIGA’s quick chemical screen. RESET™ rankings require licensed toxicologists to run full chemical screens on all end components.

Note: This criterion applies to all materials.

RESET™: Ranks chemical identification, safe chemistry and the health impact of material renewal.

  • RESET 1: Material chemistry is fully known and when burned, decomposed or degraded with light only Benchmark IV chemicals result.

MNI: Ranks chemical identification, safe chemistry and the health impact of material renewal.

  • A: Material chemistry is fully known and when burned, decomposed or degraded with light only Benchmark III & IV chemicals result.
  • B: Material chemistry is fully known and when burned, decomposed or degraded with light only Benchmark II, III & IV chemicals result.
  • C: Material chemistry is fully known and when burned, decomposed or degraded with light Benchmark I - IV chemicals result. Or, Material chemistry is fully defined* but only self-documented.
  • -: Data gap. Material Chemistry contains unknowns.
R7. Appropriate Durability

Durable materials are not green by default. Consider rapidly renewable flooring. Rapid growth must be supported by ample nutrients. Locking nutrients into materials takes them out of their natural cycles. The longer these materials stay out of the biosphere, the longer future growth is unsupported with nutrients. Or, consider a plastic spoon. It is used for 30 minutes and is discarded, though it will last for thousands of years in the biosphere. Durability cannot be considered in isolation. Materials must first be classified as biological, technical nutrients, or hybrid materials as each is measured differently. To qualify, Manufacturers must list all end components by relative percent weight.

Biological Nutrients:
Durability must consider the growth needs of each biological nutrient. Materials with high nutrient requirements (quick growth) need materials to renter the biosphere faster than materials which grow more slowly. RESET™ compares growth rates to the serviceable lifespan of biological materials to create a Durability Coefficient (required growth time / serviceable lifespan = Durability Coefficient) to measure the appropriateness of a material's durability.

Technical Nutrients:
Durability must consider the time required for technical nutrients to degrade when left unattended in the biosphere. All materials will fall out of production cycles and will be left to degrade. Materials that take thousands of years to degrade have too much inherent value to last for only a few decades. This criterion prioritizes technical nutrients which have a useful lifespan comparable to their inherent material value. We compare raw material lifespans to end product serviceable lifespans (lifespan of nutrients when left unattended in the biosphere / serviceable lifespan = Durability Coefficient) to measure the appropriateness of a material's durability.

The Durability Coefficient of hybrid materials are calculated by relative percentage. For example, a material that is 75% Biological, 25% Technical would be calculated as follows: 0.75(Biological Durability Coefficient) + 0.25(Technical Durability Coefficient).

To qualify for this criterion, Manufacturers are required to submit, the guaranteed serviceable lifespan of materials. RESET™ defines growth and decomposition time requirements of biological nutrients.

Note: This criterion does not apply to materials which are entirely upcyclable and are sold as part of a circular economy.

MNI: Measures the appropriateness of end products' durability when compared against the lifespan of their raw materials.

  • A: ≤ 1
  • B: 1< n < 10
  • C: 10 < n < 25
  • -: Data gap. Or, n ≥ 25
R8. Residual economic value

Recycling and reuse depend on residual value - materials with value are recycled. Many materials are highly recyclable or reusable, though they end up in landfills simply because there is no economic incentive to keep them out of waste streams. Materials with residual economic value have a greater potential to be reused, recycled, used as biofuel, or composted. To qualify for this materials, manufacturers must list all end components, by relative percent weight. Residual value is regionally dependent and is determined by GIGA.

Note: This criterion applies to all materials.

MNI: Measures the percentage of materials that can be reclaimed for reuse, up-cycling, down-cycling, combustion or soil production.

  • A: 100% of materials have residual value
  • B: 60-99% of materials have residual value
  • C: 20-59% of materials have residual value
  • -: Data gap. Or, 0-19% of materials have residual value
R9. Reclamation program

Design is inherently ephemeral. Even the most durable products function for an insignificant fraction of their life cycles. When discarded, inherent value of their raw materials are then locked up for hundreds or thousands of years. Reclamation and material pooling incentivize producing better materials, keeping wastes and toxins out of our environments while reducing the need to extract virgin materials. Note that the success of reclamation programs often depends on consumer participation. When replacing or purchasing materials, consumers need to determine whether reclamation programs are available. In many cases competing brands will also reclaim competitors' materials. To qualify for this criterion manufacturers must reclaim their own, or competitors' materials for reuse and/or reproduction. Shipping orders and/or purchase orders must be submitted to confirm reclamation volumes.

Note: This criterion only applies to non-biodegradable service products and materials with residual value.

RESET™: Recognizes manufacturers who successfully implement reclamation programs.

  • RESET 3: Annual material reclamation increased by over 15%
  • RESET 2: Annual material reclamation increased by 1-15%
  • RESET 1: Manufacturer supports material reclamation
  • -: Data gap. Or, No material reclamation program available.
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