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GREENBUILD 2011: UL Environment clarifies emerging environmental product declaration field

October 07, 2011 |

UL Environment Inc. released a White Paper to help educate all stakeholders about Environmental Product Declarations (EPDs) and help clarify the role of the EPD Program Operator. The new guidance document, “Transparency and the Role of Environmental Product Declarations,” accompanies the announcement of newly certified EPDs for Interface and Kingspan Insulated Metal Panels and release of a Thermal Building Envelope Insulation Product Category Rule.

The report – available here – provides guidance on:

  • Market demand for EPDs;
  • ISO 14025 compliant EPD creation process;
  • Importance of  life cycle analysis in the EPD creation process;
  • Why Product Category Rules (PCRs) needed;
  • Necessity for PCR harmonization;
  • Role of the EPD Program Operator; and
  • What’s next for EPDs, including the management of public data.

An EPD is an internationally accepted, third-party reviewed report detailing a product’s environmental impacts throughout its lifecycle, and often include additional performance, health, and company information. EPDs promote transparency and facilitate comparison of impacts among products in the same category.

Life cycle-based assessment tools are rapidly being embraced by the construction and building industry as an emerging component of green building certification processes. EPDs are currently rewarded by various green building rating systems such as CHPS and BREEAM. The USGBC recently started to recognize EPDs through Pilot Credit 43 and the draft version of the LEED 2012 includes credits that encourage the use of EPDs. BD+C

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