Project Description

MDB manages the Sustainable Materials Management Coalition, a diverse private-public partnership that provides information and aims to develop new policies. The Coalition is composed of representatives of business, academia, environmental and community organizations, and state and local governments, in partnership with the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency (EPA). MDB Senior Vice President Tim Fields, a former EPA assistant administrator, chairs the Coalition.

This partnership gives advice to the EPA and other stakeholders on sustainable materials management, which  involves using or reusing materials in the most productive and environmentally sound ways across their entire life cycles. This approach reduces waste and adverse effects on the environment, and it conserves resources.

Our collaboration has been particularly fruitful as the Coalition works to make sustainable materials management and life-cycle thinking accessible .

Mathy Stanislaus, Assistant Administrator, U.S. Environmental Protection Agency

“Nearly every major company in the United States in the past couple of years has designated a chief sustainability officer who focuses on decreasing greenhouse gas emissions and embracing measures for sustainable materials management. They see it as good for their bottom line, as saving resources, and as something customers want,” said Fields.

Fields discussed his work and perspective on stakeholder and industry involvement with InsideEPA in January 2016. Read a portion of the article below.

EPA Plans ‘Concrete’ Sustainability Efforts in 2016 under Voluntary Program
EPA’s waste office plans to implement “more concrete actions” on sustainable materials management (SMM) in 2016, according to the office’s top official, with the agency planning to place a priority on reuse and recycling in the “built” environment, food management and sustainable packaging.

SMM is “a systemic approach to using and reusing materials more productively over their entire lifecycles,” EPA says on its website. In addition to reducing waste and conserving resources, EPA ties SMM to reducing climate impacts as well.

The full article is available here.

In March 2014, the Coalition issued new guidance to help organizations take a broader view and consider the full range of environmental impacts that products have throughout their lives – from the initial extraction of raw materials through their final disposal.  The report, “Guidance on Life-Cycle Thinking and Its Role in Environmental Decision Making,” is intended to help governments and businesses make more informed decisions as they seek to buy greener and safer products.

Download the Sustainable Materials Management Coalition’s 2014 Guidance on Life Cycle Thinking.

Read more about the importance of a life-cycle perspective in an EPA Connect blog post , July 29, 2014, by Mathy Stanislaus.

Read a letter from Mathy Stanislaus to the SMMC.

The Guidance was announced by MDB in a news release.