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SMaRT Certification, our work, and our contractors

By April 9, 2021 No Comments
a worker moves large concrete equipment to illustrate smart certification

At Columbia Precast Products, earning our SMaRT Certification is one of our greatest achievements. In fact, we were the first precast concrete plant in the buried infrastructure industry to earn this distinction.

Good business means being as environmentally friendly as possible. It’s the right thing to do for the planet and for our customers. Consumers demand products that are durable, sustainable, and ethically sourced. The SMaRT Certification program helps ensure this by acknowledging and encouraging businesses that use green production methods.

What is SMaRT Certification?

Sustainable Materials Rating Technology (SMaRT) is the highest standard for development and manufacturing. It was adopted under the Leadership in Energy and Environmental Design (LEED) rating system in 2007.

SMaRT is not just about the product; it examines the process by which it was produced, too.

It begins with an environmental product declaration (EPD), which reports the impact of the manufacturing process. This part of the process takes various key factors into account, like production, packaging, raw material extraction, even transportation, and disposal. The health product declaration (HPD) reports on chemicals that could be toxic or harmful to the public.

SMaRT is one of the few standards that accounts for both the environmental and human impact. It differs from most other EPD/HPDs because it requires massive pollution reductions as well as identifying many more aspects of climate change and toxicity issues.

SMaRT requires applicants to sign a legally binding agreement, enforced by the Federal Trade Commission (FTC), to ensure all information is accurate. It’s a consensus-based standard — the culmination of 15 years of approvals.

What it Takes to Get SMaRTA SMaRT Certification Products infographic

The scope of examination to get SMaRT is much wider than that of other certifications. It incorporates about 50 individual standards. To qualify, a company must score a minimum of 28 points (out of a potential 157) in the following stages of production:

  • Safety for public health and environment
  • Renewable energy and energy reduction
  • Materials that are bio-based or recycled
  • Company/facility requirements (including social equity)
  • Reclamation or Sustainable reuse

To obtain certification, a manufacturer must also:

  • Submit a fully completed application
  • Pass a data audit by the MTS (the Institute for Market Transformation to Sustainability)
  • Sign a legally binding agreement that all information and data are accurate and not embellished or misleading
  • Pass a third-party audit from Ernst & Young’s Global Sustainable Auditing Group or Redstone Global Auditing
  • Renew the SMaRT certification every three years

If your facility passes, you will receive certification that has varying levels based on points earned: sustainable, sustainable silver, sustainable gold, or sustainable platinum.

SMaRT Certified Products in the Pacific Northwest

Columbia Precast Products uses natural materials that do not emit any volatile organic compounds (VOC). We design our precast concrete products with strength, durability and resilience in mind — all while using sustainable materials and practices.

We remain dedicated to a greener, safer environment. That’s why we’re excited to see so many colleagues in the building and construction industries adopt these practices.

When we founded Columbia Precast Products, we made it a priority to become one of the leading sustainable precast companies in the region. We’re proud to be an industry pioneer when it comes to sustainability.

What does that mean for you?

Many public and private sector projects require contracting with companies that have earned eco-friendly status, such as with SMaRT or LEED certification. If you are a contractor looking to secure these kinds of projects, you know Columbia Precast Products checks that box.

In addition to all of the environmental benefits of working with SMaRT-certified precast concrete, our facility is a tightly controlled and monitored environment. This means we can assure quality every step of the way, from mixing, setting, and giving the concrete enough time to properly harden. We strength test every piece before it leaves the facility.

By creating a product that doesn’t have to be replaced or remodeled every 20 years, we actually use less material in the long run. When you do things the right way it all comes together, both for our clients and the environment.