At this year’s Coverings, the largest tile and stone exhibition in North America, Bill Griese, TCNA’s Director of Standards Development and Sustainability Initiatives, was honored as a member of the 2016 class of “Coverings Rock Stars,” a group of young professionals recognized for having distinguished themselves as industry leaders.

The 31-year-old Griese has an impressively long list of achievements, most notably as an industry expert in standards development and sustainability. He has spearheaded many significant projects, built consensus around important standardization initiatives, and represented North American tile manufacturers in high profile A&D, sustainability, and building code endeavors. Griese has ably led the TCNA Green Initiative Committee since its inception, and has been integral in establishing the tile industry’s reputation for transparency and leadership within the green community. “Many individuals collaborate on standardizing and promoting sustainability in our industry, but Bill’s unique combination of technical acuity, leadership, and diplomatic acumen is a key component of our success,” says TCNA Executive Director Eric Astrachan.

Griese’s many accomplishments include

  • Spearheading the effort to create the first industry-wide Environmental Product Declaration (EPD) for ceramic tile, an in-depth report on the environmental impact of North American-made tile.
  • Convening and leading the Green Initiative Committee, comprised of 80 representatives from 50 different organizations.
  • Leading the Green Initiative Committee in creating Green Squared®, the first and only standard and certification program for sustainable tiles and tile installation materials, and developing Tile: The Natural Choice, a full-color guide to the myriad ways in which tile is inherently “green.”
  • Chairing the ASTM C21 Committee and ASTM Committee on Technical Committee Operations (COTCO).
  • Serving as US Delegate to international standardization groups such as ISO TC 189 (Ceramic Tile), ISO TC59/SC17 (Sustainability in Buildings and Construction), ISO PC277 (Sustainable Procurement), and the World Ceramic Tile Manufacturers Forum.
  • Serving as an appointed member of the US EPA’s Governance Committee Flooring Panel for the development of Federal guidelines on sustainability standards and certification labels
  • Leading the development of the first standard for glass tile, ANSI A137.2.

Griese’s leadership has been lauded by ASTM, which in 2013 presented him with its International President’s Leadership Award, and in 2009 he received the honor of an invitation from the International Code Council to serve as a working group member in the drafting of the International Green Construction Code (IgCC). Griese continues to be an active leader in the industry, participating in the development of thin tile standards and in key revisions to the ISO standard for ceramic tile, as well as continuing his educational and outreach efforts as a frequent speaker and contributor to industry publications.

“It is in large measure due to Bill’s determination and vision in promoting sustainability that our industry has achieved such major green milestones,” says Astrachan. “He has worked continually to build our reputation in the green building community, and his efforts are far-reaching and significant, recently resulting in important product exemptions from VOC testing in LEED, and informing new ways of using tile in green building projects. Bill’s leadership is integral to the direction of standards development and future green building opportunities for our industry.”