this platform to show leadership that’s more honest. It is helpful to them and people
who specify materials. It’s really succeeded or is succeeding, I should say.”
From the Declare label, McLennan watched transparency come to the forefront of
design discussions. With that, the movement has started to transcend products.
“We started to realize this sort of notion of transparency … was applicable to other
areas,” he explained. “The building industry has [been behind] on equity and social
justice issues. I created the JUST label as a way to bring those topics to the fore-
ground of our industry and hopefully that will be helpful to other industries. But the
JUST label can be used for any organization in any industry. It is a useful tool to
shine a light on corporate practices toward people.”
The JUST label follows the same nutrition label format as Declare. However,
unlike Declare, the JUST program is not for certification but a transparency tool “for
organizations to disclose their operations, including how they treat their employees
and where they make financial and community investments.” The process requires
an entity to report on a range of indictors with “measurable accountabilities.”
JUST labels include ratings for Diversity, Equity, Safety, Worker Benefit, Local
Benefit, and Stewardship.
Similarly, Reveal is the next in line, uncovering true energy performance within
buildings, “which is typically obscured,” McLennan noted. “People don’t know how
energy efficient or inefficient their buildings really are.”
The Reveal program verifies energy performance using three metrics: energy
use intensity, the zero energy performance index, and reduction in energy use
from baseline. It also shows if a building/project meets the 2030 Challenge energy
use reduction targets established by Architecture 2030. The 2030 Challenge aims
for a fossil fuel reduction standard for all new buildings and major renovations over
the next 12 years, meeting carbon neutral goals by 2030 (using no fossil fuel GHG-
emitting energy to operate).
“It’s all part of a theory of change to use transparency as a tool,” McLennan
said. “Giving structure and platforms for transparency [creates] consistency in
definitions and terms and a way to showcase it. Each [label] is a tool for transparency.
It really helps organizations and projects organize their information.”
When asked about what impact he thinks he has had on the A+D community,
McLennan hopes he has motivated people to become positive “troublemakers”
as well. “Hopefully I’ve inspired people to think differently and to become trouble-
makers for change themselves. It’s always gratifying to hear from someone that I
haven’t even met that [ILFI’s] work has made a difference to them or moved their
career in a certain direction.”
Going forward, he encourages people with his shared vision to work even
harder with the country’s current state of affairs. “We have to double down at this
time,” he said. “We have to roll up our sleeves and do the hard work. We can’t
look for leadership from the government. Leadership begins with ourselves anyway.
It’s too easy to get distracted and distraught by things that are out of your control
so I always encourage people to begin with the change you can control and try to
move outwards from there as opposed to getting lost in what’s happening in the
outer world. That’s hard to change directly and typically is not in our control.”
Visit living-future.org to learn more and find out how to get involved.
interiorsandsources.com march2018 interiors+sources 45
ABOVE The Declare label is ILFI’s
proprietary transparency tool created
by McLennan. It reads like a traditional
nutrition label and indicates a product’s
origin, ingredients, and where it goes
at end of life.
RIGHT Unveiled at NeoCon 2017
and created in collaboration with
McLennan Design, Mohawk Group’s
award-winning Lichen carpet is the
first floorcovering to achieve Living
Product Challenge Petal Certification.