Green building is a popular and sometimes necessary offering. With environmentally-conscious consumers, energy benefits and lower ecological impacts, choosing ‘green’ or ‘sustainable’ products and processes can be advantageous to your business. So, how do you choose between green and sustainable products and processes – and do they really make a difference?

Green vs. sustainable 

There are many definitions for green and sustainable, and those definitions vary based on the type of application (i.e. green building vs. green planting, etc.). For our purposes, green is a commonly used term for products/processes that lessen the impact on the environment, such as products manufactured using recycled materials (i.e. USG Levelrock™ Brand sound attenuation products) or the purchase of products manufactured and distributed near a job site.

Sustainable refers to the life cycle of a product or process. Unlike green products/processes which are characterized by one or more beneficial attributes, sustainable products/processes are all-encompassing. For example, products/processes such as poured underlayment that use recaptured gypsum (i.e. USG Levelrock® green floor underlayments) or non-sanded underlayments that are mixed at the job site with locally obtained sand and water.

It is important to note that sustainable design can employ both green and sustainable products/processes for achieving a certification. LEED® (Leadership in Energy and Environmental Design) is the leading green certification program (and of which USG Corporation is a founding member). As more and more architects create sustainable designs, educating yourself on how USG Levelrock floor underlayments, primers and sealers and sound attenuation products can contribute towards LEED credits, can increase your business prospects while decreasing your carbon footprint.


Green and sustainable products and processes can minimize your costs (i.e. purchasing USG Levelrock products and materials that are closer to your job site saves on transportation costs), opens your business to environmentally-conscious customers and helps to keep the earth healthy (it’s the only one we have).

For more information on USG Levelrock green products and processes, contact your local USG Technical Sales Representative, or visit for information on LEED certification.