Sustainable resource extraction

Product label requirements in the criterion

The aim of this criterion is to promote the use of products whose ecological and social impacts along the value chain are transparent and whose raw material extraction and processing meet recognised ecological and social standards.


The fulfilment of the minimum requirements of the respective raw material group shall be demonstrated by the standard-setting organisation within the scope of the verification.

Fulfilment of the systemic requirements is a prerequisite for obtaining recognition.

The requirements in terms of content define the minimum ecological and social requirements that a standard for raw material extraction, processing or production of building materials should formulate and pursue as a principle. The substantive requirements are formulated in an overarching manner to enable consideration of all raw materials occurring in the construction industry. If a certain raw material (e.g. wood, concrete or natural stone) is used, those aspects are to be taken into account that are essential and thus relevant for the respective raw materials/products. An overview shows the raw material-specific classification (available in German):



Ecological requirements

The aim is to reduce negative environmental impacts in the area of raw material extraction and processing. Compliance with the following raw material-specific environmental sustainability targets, which are essential in the extraction and processing of the raw material groups under consideration, is to be demonstrated by the standard.


  • 1. Protection and preservation of biodiversity (species diversity)

    • 1.1. Plan for environmental management: Measures must be taken to protect and preserve biodiversity.

    • 1.2 Diversified cultivation: With the exception of natural pure stands, mixed stands with site-appropriate tree species shall be maintained or established. A sufficient proportion of tree species of the natural forest communities shall be aimed for. When foreign tree species are used, care shall be taken that their natural regeneration does not impair the regeneration capacity of other tree species and thus displace them.

    • 1.3 Treatment of the seeds: Genetic modification or chemical treatment of seeds must be avoided.

    • 1.4 Biological natural fibre: Natural fibres must come from organic farming or organic animal husbandry.

  • 2. Ensuring the continuity and protection of ecosystems (diversity of habitats): Natural areas shall be restored to a condition at least equivalent to their original condition. The prohibition of deterioration applies.

    • 2.1 Renaturation/ recultivation of mining areas: There must be an obligation to observe a prohibition of deterioration. Natural areas must be restored to a condition at least equivalent to their original condition.

    • 2.2 Integrated forest conservation:

      • Focus on prevention
      • Combination of silvicultural, biological, mechanical/technical and chemical measures
      • Exploitation of all ecological effects
      • Reducing the need for plant protection products (insecticides) to a minimum by exhausting all non-chemical methods
    • 2.3 Ecological and cultural conservation values (High-conservation values): Raw material extraction does not take place in areas with special protection values (total reserves - set-aside areas) or only gently (environmental compatibility). Areas worthy of protection are: Biodiversity, natural landscapes, biotopes/habitats, ecosystem services, cultural values, needs of the local population.
    • 2.4 Sustainable management plan: A long-term sustainable management plan is necessary.
    • 2.5 Limited annual extraction: Annual extraction shall not exceed 1/100 of the resources that can be annually extracted from known stockpiles with economically viable effort.
  • 3. Preservation of protective functions of ecosystems: Flood protection, drinking water, avalanches, etc.

    • 3.1. Monitoring and controlling of environmental impacts: Environmental impacts must be permanently monitored, documented and investigated. Measures must be taken to control the environmental impacts.

  • 4. Conservation of soils and landscapes through reduction of land use

    • 4.1. Land use: Land use must be minimised to ensure the conservation of soils and landscapes.

  • 5. Preservation of soil quality by avoiding biological, chemical and physical soil degradation: e.g. soil compaction, soil erosion, soil contamination due to the use of chemicals that are harmful to the environment, health and the environment.

    • 5.1 Soil degradation: biological, chemical and physical soil degradation must be avoided.

  • 6. Preservation of the natural water cycle

    • 6.1 Preservation of the water cycle: Measures must be taken to preserve the natural water cycle (including avoiding impacts on surface water and/or groundwater levels and their quality, avoiding large-scale sealing).

  • 7. Reduction of water consumption and avoidance of impacts on surface water and/or groundwater levels and their quality.

    • 7.1 Water resources management: Measures must be taken to reduce water consumption.

    • 7.2 Energy management: The economical use of electrical energy must be ensured (machines with low energy consumption, use of renewable energies). Employees must be trained in the economical use of electrical energy.

  • 8. Prevention of water pollution: e.g. avoidance of impacts on water quality due to waste water.

    • 8.1 Recycling of waste water: Polluted waste water must not enter groundwater or other natural water bodies. An effective recycling system must be in place where polluted wastewater is cleaned and then returned to the natural water cycle.

    • 8.2 Fertiliser: Fertilisation with chemicals that are harmful to the environment, health and the environment must be avoided.

    • 8.3 Pesticides: The use of pesticides containing chemicals that are harmful to the environment and health must be avoided.

  • 9. Avoidance of waste, in particular toxic waste

    • 9.1 Avoidance of waste: Measures must be taken to avoid waste, especially toxic waste.

    • 9.2 Dyes: Dyes must not contain heavy metals.

    • 9.3 Bleaching: Bleaching procedures must be oxygen-based.

  • 10. Preservation of air quality by avoiding harmful emissions

    • 10.1 Avoidance of harmful emissions: Measures must be taken to prevent harmful emissions in order to maintain air quality.

  • 11. Reduction of the environmental impact of transports: e.g. through the use of local or regional raw material sources

    • 11.1 Reduction of transportation: Measures must be taken to avoid transport (shifting to more environmentally friendly alternatives and using local sources of raw materials).


Social requirements

The objective is to prevent negative social impacts from the extraction and processing of raw materials. The requirements in the area of social issues are based, among others, on the Human Rights Convention and the labour standards of the International Labour Organisation (ILO), the Iseal Assurance Code and the OECD Due Diligence Guidelines. The reference to the aforementioned or equivalent norms and standards must be demonstrated by the standard-setting organisation as part of the verification process.


  • 1. Ban on child labour and forced labour in accordance with the ILO Convention:

    (ILO = International Labour Organisation)

    • ILO core labour standards: No child labour (ILO Conventions No. 138 and No. 182)
    • No slave labour (ILO Conventions No. 29 and No. 105)
  • 2. Compliance with basic ILO core labour standards and occupational health and safety measures: (prevention of occupational accidents, protection of workers from sources of danger) across the entire supply or value chain).
    • Labour standards and occupational safety measures: Staff must receive training on occupational safety (ILO Convention No. 155); occupational accidents must be documented; workers must be protected from sources of danger (chemicals, air pollution, vibrations, noise) (ILO Conventions No. 148 and No. 170); labour standards and labour protection measures are observed throughout the entire supply or value chain.
    • Appropriate housing conditions for workers: Workers' accommodation must be supplied with clean drinking water. Sanitary facilities must be available in sufficient numbers and located within easy reach of the accommodation.
    • Sufficient medical provision: Doctor or hospital in sufficient proximity; staff must receive regular first aid training; first aid kit with all necessary utensils must be available at the workplace.
  • 3. Compliance with labour rights: e.g. assurance of a written employment contract that complies with legal requirements; also applies to subcontractors.
    Fair employment contracts and wages: Written contracts written in simple local language understandable to workers; payment to meet basic needs (minimum wage) and equality of pay (ILO Convention No. 131).
  • 4. Compliance with the right to freedom of association: Protection of the right to organise and to bargain collectively under ILO Conventions 87 and 98.
    ILO core labour standards: Freedom of Association (ILO Conventions No. 87 and No. 98)
  • 5. Equal pay and non-discrimination in the workplace: in accordance with ILO Conventions 100 and 111
    ILO core labour standards: No discrimination (ILO Conventions No. 100 and No. 111)
  • 6. Preservation of cultural values and compliance with the rights of indigenous peoples and the local population: Avoiding conflicts of use and threats to the livelihoods of the local population due to possible negative impacts of raw material extraction, processing or manufacturing of products (land evictions, forced resettlement and impairment of food security).
    • Avoidance of raw material mining or extraction in conflict-ridden and conflict-prone regions: Extraction of raw materials should take place in a conflict-free environment. In principle, all risks and any resulting impacts associated with the extraction of raw materials should be identified in order to intensify existing conflicts (in conflict-ridden and conflict-prone regions) or to avoid new conflicts (precautionary principle).
    • Support local society and businesses: Contracts are preferably awarded to local companies.
    • Improve local infrastructure: Measures are implemented to improve local infrastructure.
    • Consent of the local community: The local community and the relevant authorities must be involved in decision-making. Conflicts of use and threats to the livelihood of the local population due to possible negative impacts of raw material extraction, processing or manufacturing of products must be avoided.
  • 7. Implementation of ethnic business: such as prevention of corruption, implementation of fair business practices, compliance with laws.
    • Corruption must be prevented. Fair business practices must be implemented. The laws of the respective countries must be respected.

Achievable quality levels

In the criterion sustainable esource xtraction, different quality levels are distinguished according to the implementation of the content requirements of a recognised standard.

The standard certifies sub-elements formulated as essential in terms of the criterion sustainable resource extraction, such as only extraction but not further processing or only processing of raw materials but not extraction. This classification can only be made if the standard will demonstrably cover the mapping of the elements of the value chain that are currently not yet considered in the future and the integration has already been announced.


Construction materials/products certified according to the standard fulfil the content requirements specified in the criterion (either only the environmental or only the social) via the award criteria of the standard. The fulfilment refers to the essential elements of the value chain.


The standard takes into account a mix of certified and non-certified raw materials in the certification process.

The construction materials or products certified according to the standard fulfil the content requirements (both environmental and social) listed in the criterion via the award criteria of the standard. The fulfilment refers to the essential elements of the value chain.

The construction materials or products certified according to the standard demonstrate the use of secondary raw materials and fulfil the content requirements (both environmental and social) listed in the criterion via the award criteria of the standard.

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DGNB criteria ENV1.3


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