Having facilitated a number of CPD (Continuing Professional Development) toolbox talks at GMIT over the last few years, I have come to the conclusion that claims to be green may not necessarily be green after all.
Some flooring systems are advertised as 100% recyclable. A true fact. However, on further inquiry, it should be noted that currently there are no municipal waste recycling plants in Ireland capable of recycling these products. Materials of this nature need to be shipped to mainland Europe for recycling.
Similarly, Architectural Technology specifiers would do well to consider how 'Irish' some insulation's claim to be. Some are manufactured in Ireland with raw products being imported from Europe, others are directly imported from Germany, China, Austria or other parts of mainland Europe.
The implication in terms of carbon footprint is missing from brochures and glossed over when looking at technical detailing. The embodied energy, cradle to gate or cradle to grave analysis can be deceptive if the Irish context of green building component choices is not realistically evaluated. No pun intended.
There are some saving graces - Ecocel in Cork supply blown cellulose insulation, which is all recycled, all Irish, all green. Hurray!