New Initiative Addresses Environmental Impacts of Products
New ASTM International initiative to offer development of product category rules and verification of environmental product declarations
ASTM International announced its new initiative as a Program Operator for Product Category Rules (PCRs) and Environmental Product Declarations (EPDs), which will provide the venue for developing PCRs and verifying EPDs.
As green and sustainability become more prevalent terms, and measurement systems and labels more common, the need is growing to understand the real environmental impact of products from raw material extraction to disposal and recycling.
"The ASTM International program will provide scientifically based, quantifiable information about product parameters such as resource consumption and ozone depletion, which will give both businesses and consumers an understanding of a product's real impact on the environment," said Timothy Brooke, vice president of certification, training and proficiency testing at ASTM International. Through ASTM's certification program, technical advisory committees will oversee the development process for PCRs.
PCRs will detail the rules and guidelines for developing environmental declarations for products that can fulfill equivalent functions. EPDs will be verified to ensure their adherence to the ISO 14040 standards as well as to ensure that life cycle assessment data accurately describes the environmental aspects of a product. ASTM International has developed its program in accordance with ISO 14025 - Environmental Labels and Declarations - Type III Environmental Declarations - Principles and Procedures.
Representatives of the roofing industry are already working with ASTM to develop PCRs. A member of ASTM's Committee D08 on Roofing and Waterproofing, Philip Moser, P.E., a building envelope consultant at Simpson Gumpertz & Heger, Waltham, Mass., said, "Virtually every roofing product on the market now touts its green benefits, but it is often difficult for the specifier, contractor and building owner to evaluate the veracity and relevance of the marketing claims. Once consensus-based PCRs are developed for the North American roofing industry, environmental declarations can use a consistent format, and, more importantly, be based on a more consistent set of calculations and assumptions. The end result is a win-win-win for responsible manufacturers, for concerned professionals and consumers and for the environment."
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