Ann Arbor, Mich.—NSF International has two new environmental programs to meet the growing demand for science-based support to verify environmental product claims. NSF can now provide product category rule (PCR) development and environmental product declaration (EPD) verification across multiple product groups and industries. Adopted by European countries and growing in recognition in the U.S., PCRs and EPDs provide an international standard of communication to compare and report a product’s environmental impact throughout its entire life cycle.
Based on international environmental management guidelines (ISO 14025), Product Category Rules define how to conduct a life cycle assessment for a particular product group and what to include in the resulting report. A life cycle assessment measures inputs, outputs and environmental impacts of a product across its lifespan, from cradle to grave. The Environmental Product Declaration is the third-party-verified report that functions like a nutrition label to explain the data generated from a life cycle assessment.
As a leading ANSI-accredited developer of more than 70 American National standards, NSF’s National Center for Sustainability Standards (NCSS), serves as a Program Operator for developing Product Category Rules. The NCSS develops PCRs in a transparent and open process in accordance with internationally-recognized environmental standards.
NSF’s NNCSS has begun working with several flooring trade associations on the first North American PCR for resilient, carpet, laminate, tile, and wood flooring products, including:
- Carpet and Rug Institute (CRI)
- National Wood Flooring Association (NWFA)
- North American Laminate Flooring Association (NALFA)
- Resilient Floor Covering Institute (RFCI)
- Tile Council of North America (TCNA)
Both the RFCI and CRI have a history of collaboration with NSF’s National Center of Sustainability Standards. RFCI participated in the development of the sustainability assessment standard for resilient flooring (NSF/ANSI 332), and CRI on the development of the sustainability assessment standard for carpet (NSF/ANSI 140). Both of these standards utilize life cycle assessments to support certification.
“Product Category Rule development provides the necessary foundation for life cycle assessment reporting and Environmental Product Declarations of flooring materials,” said Bill Freeman, RFCI consultant. “All three are essential to lend credibility to environmental data and provide our customers with a comprehensive tool to evaluate the environmental impacts of their flooring products.”
“PCRs and EPDs help eliminate greenwashing by providing industries and organizations with a verified, scientific and internationally-accepted method of supporting environmental product claims,” said Jane Wilson, NCSS director. “Professionals that specify and purchase these products will have verified data to use in analyzing and selecting environmentally preferable products.”
To learn more, visit nsf.org.