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Sustainability Standards + Data, Structured by Impact

A Common Language

How do you define health or sustainability for materials? How do you use that definition to drive better decisions when making or specifying products? Now, ask your colleague the same questions. Their answer is different from yours, isn’t it? These inconsistencies are holding us back from driving change and measuring progress in reducing the material and holistic embodied impacts of the built environment. The Common Materials Framework (CMF) solves that.

CMF 101 Video Series

CMF Reference Guide

CMF In Action

How do the ecolabel and standards you certify your products map to impact? I really care about human health in my projects, how do I reduce it? These are some of the questions the CMF starts to answer.

The CMF is the outcome of the most detailed cross-stakeholder industry effort to analyze and organize over 150+ of the most common building product ecolabel and standards. The framework gives structure to these programs, ultimately connecting these certifications to impact (the 5 impact categories first identified in AIA A&D Materials Pledge) as well as segregating what data is verified within them (and rolling data up to impact as well). This is the basis for the building industry’s first common language for sustainable building products.

Transformation through Translation: The Problem

Transformation through Translation: The Solution

Transformation through Translation: The Structure

Transformation through Translation: The Framework

The CMF 101 Video Series

This four-part video series shares context for the CMF — why it exists, how it is structured, and how it can be leveraged today — and into the future.

The CMF’s Most FAQs

You've got questions and we've got answers. Have a question you don't see on the list? Reach out at

  • A: Nope, the CMF is not a certification. The CMF is a meta-analysis of all major ecolabel and  standards for product sustainability in the built environment, connecting certifications to impact. Its purpose is to map certifications into a common structure that can be used by any professional across the built environment to drive consistent communication surrounding the sustainability of building products, which will ultimately support consistency in sustainability requests to manufacturers as well as in product decision-making.

  • A: The CMF is for every stakeholder in the built environment who is designs, engineers, constructs and/or owns or develops buildings or manufacturers products. The CMF is meant to be a tool for anyone looking to communicate sustainability asks to manufacturers, enable manufacturers to provide sustainability requests in a common structure to ultimately enable Owners, Architects, Designers, Engineers and Contractors to make more ‘mindful’ decisions about materials. 

  • A: Right now, the CMF can be used in mindful MATERIALS’ Portal, powered by ecomedes. The Portal allows brands and users to search for products by impact, mapping how each product certification supports each impact category. It differentiates between products with certifications and documentation that provide transparency and those that represent a product that has been optimized in a given category. In the mM Product Portal, the CMF is digitized to the “sub-bucket” level across all impact areas. This means that once you have searched by bucket (like “Human Health”), you can also search by sub-buckets under Human Health, like “VOCs,” “Substances,” or “Company Human Health Impacts.” Some sub-buckets have been digitized to the TACO level, but not all. Wondering what we mean by TACO? Dive into the CMF structure here.      Go to the Portal →       Portal Reference Guide for Manufacturers →

  • A: The Portal will remain in beta and serve as a proof of concept for a digitized CMF, but it is a stepping stone on a longer path. mM intends to have CMF-filtered data available in additional workflow tools by the end of 2024, and many other integrations will be developed into the future so sustainability data, structured in a common language (CMF), will be found wherever sustainable product or design is happening.

  • A: The Common Materials Framework represents a truly collaborative, cross-stakeholder industry-led effort. Below are the companies that helped to build, organize, and present the CMF.

Content Advisory Board

The Content Advisory Board (CAB) represents a cross-section of industry stakeholder input on all library content to ensure there is industry alignment on the Common Materials Framework.

Ecosystem Review

The process of building and updating the Common Materials Framework requires in-depth research, review and organization of both the broad pledge categories; as well as unpacking the detailed standards and factors identified for inclusion in the framework. To further ensure accuracy of the CMF and its adoption, and drive industry alignment and adoption, it was important to engage as many of the certification and standards bodies represented in the framework as possible, as well as data management systems and technology platforms who will contribute to the framework’s implementation. The following organizations have provided feedback on the framework to-date.

The CMF Reference Guide

The CMF Reference Guide is a resource that provides a more holistic and detailed overview of the Common Materials Framework heirarchy and how it helps the entire industry connect Ecolabels, Standards and Data to Impact.

Content Working Group

The Content Working Group (CWG) reviews in-depth the work and criteria proposed by the CAB. The goal of the CWG is to review each new criteria (certifications, labels, general information, etc.), in detail, and approve its inclusion and organization within the Common Materials Framework.

Ready to align with these efforts? Here's what you can do right now →

The CMF in Action

The mindful MATERIALs' Product Portal (Beta), powered by our SaaS partner, ecomedes, allows brands and users to search for products by impact, by digitally mapping ecolabels and standards to the impact categories of the CMF.

Our goal is to see CMF filters in many tools. Check back for updates on where you can find the CMF in workflow tools.

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