craddle to craddle
The impact of a material or a system on the environment has to be as small as possible. This is what we call the life cycle analysis (LCA). With this tool one analyse if there has been committed exhaustion during the extraction, how much energy the fabrication, the transport, the processing and the use demands, and if it will be biodegradable or recyclable at the end. This life progress will be measured from cradle to grave. The NIBE-system classificies the building products with all this criterions. Considering the production processes being improved constantly this classification needs to be adjusted frequently.
Since a few years there is a more severe label Craddle to Craddle, that prefers recycling at the end. Already a few products got this label.
Of course ,beside the mineral, the vegetable minerals score the best , as long as their clearing is compencated by replanting (see FSC-label ) and as long as no other essential biotopes or needs are destroyed (think about the roping of fields for more biodiesel production at the disadvantage of foodproduction.)