Living Product Challenge Certification: what to expect from start to finish

In This Article

About the Living Product Challenge

IMAGINE PRODUCTS THAT ANSWER THE QUESTION

WHAT DOES GOOD LOOK LIKE?

The Living Product Challenge is a product certification program and sustainable design framework that visualizes the ideal measure of sustainability for the creation of all products possible today. It challenges us to ask: What if every single act of design and manufacturing made the world a better place?

With the Living Product Challenge, you can create products that are:

  • Healthy and free of toxins. 
  • Socially responsible and respects the rights of workers. 
  • Net positive and benefit both people and the environment. 

Living Products give more than they take, creating a positive impact on the human and natural systems that interact with them. 

Registering Your Project

First, become a Premium Member of the Institute:  https://living-future.org/membership/#premium-membership

Once you are a member, go to living-future.org and click the login button, in the top-right corner of the screen:

Enter your email and password:

On the membership dashboard, scroll to the bottom of the page and click "+ New Living Product Challenge Project" in the REGISTER section:

Scroll down and click "Create Submissions" on the row for the Living Product Challenge:

Select "Start" in the row titled, "Submission Name"

Enter the project name in the text box, then click "Save and Exit":

Click "Start" in the row for Project Information:

Complete all required fields, then hit "Save and Exit".

Complete the "How did you hear about us?" task; click the Start button, respond to the questions, then click Save and Exit.

Paying Certification Fees

If you do not have a signed contract with ILFI and have not paid certification fees prior to registration, our system will prompt us to contact you about one or both of these items. Both of these documents must be uploaded in the registration portal before your submission will be able to move to the Documentation Submission stage. 

Please reach out to the LPC team at lpc.support@living-future.org with any questions regarding fee structure and scope of services. 

When ILFI confirms receipt of a signed contract and payment of certification fees, your product will be officially registered and you may begin uploading the required documentation for certification. 

Submitting all required information for Certification

When registration is complete, you should see a list of tasks* appear on the same page:

* IMPORTANT: The task titled "LPC v1.X Petal and Exception Selection" must be completed first. You'll need to select all Petals and Imperatives you are planning to pursue for certification in order for the associated tasks for each Imperative to appear. This will allow the system to only show tasks and documentation requirements related to the Imperatives your product is pursuing.

When you click on each task, there will be descriptions/instructions of what to provide for certification. All required tasks must be completed before the project is submitted for audit.

Still have questions? Reach out at lpc.support@living-future.org. 

ILFI and your assessor are here to help. ILFI can offer fee-for-service technical assistance to match a project’s needs.

Premium Options for Project Teams:

  • LCA Consulting
  • Charrettes
  • Technical Consulting with LPC Staff

Assessor reviews submission

When all documentation has been submitted, the project's assessor will begin its review. Documentation for each submitted Imperative is reviewed against program requirements. 

Assessor issues Clarification Requests

The auditor will provide Clarification Requests for any unclear or insufficient documentation. The Clarification Requests should explicitly detail what must be provided in order to demonstrate requirements have been met. 

The assessor will complete a form for each Imperative that looks like this:

The "Criteria Met?" field is a yes/no question that is only used between assessors and Certification Staff to indicate whether requirements have been met for each submitted document/form within an Imperative. If marked as "No", a Clarification Request will be provided (in the first open text box) that the project team must respond to in order to demonstrate requirements have been met. The second text box is where the assessor will enter the final ruling details for each submitted document/form; this information is not visible to project teams until the final report is issued.

When all documentation has been reviewed, Certification Staff review the assessor's requests to ensure they are appropriate and accurate. If staff recommend any changes to the Clarification Requests, they are returned to the assessor for approval. When the assessor and staff are in agreement on the content of Clarification Requests, they are sent to the project team. The form that Certification Staff use to review the assessor's Clarification Requests looks like this:

Responding to Clarification Requests

Responding to a given Clarification Request follows the same process described above in "Submitting all Required information for Certification". The Clarification Requests are listed by document number or task name, so it should be apparent which task must be modified to satisfy the assessor's request. If you are unsure how to respond to a Clarification Request, or you are unsure what the assessor is asking for, please contact lpc.support@living-future.org. When you have responded to all Clarification Requests, resubmit using the Submit button at the bottom of the Documentation Submission section of your project's application.

Assessor's findings released, Certification awarded

After the project team has responded to all Clarification Requests, the assessor reviews all responses and makes final rulings for each Imperative. The rulings are reviewed by Certification Staff to ensure they're accurate. If staff recommend any changes to the rulings, they are returned to the assessor for approval. When the assessor has finalized the rulings, an email summary report is sent to the project team. The email will relay the overall certification ruling (Achieved, Pending, Denied) as well as the assessor's final ruling details for each Imperative. 

Coordinating with the International Living Future Institute on marketing / press release

LPC label images, and any marketing or press release coordination should be directed through lpc.support@living-future.org. Certification Staff will loop in our Communications Team and PR Consultant to assist in the effort. A case study will be created for each certified project, and will be located on our website, here

Ordering a plaque

A wood plaque to represent your achievements is provided by ILFI. Please email lpc.support@living-future.org to coordinate this order. 

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