NSF develops new product category rule

Home Inside FCNews NSF develops new product category rule

Provides science-based methods to verify environmental flooring claims 

Ann Arbor, Mich.—Following a collaboration with multiple flooring trade associations, NSF International has developed a Product Category Rule (PCR) for the industry. This PCR, noted Tom Bruursema, general manager of NSF’s Sustainability division, provides both a science-based and internationally recognized method for reporting the environmental impact of resilient, carpet, laminate, tile and wood flooring products.

PCRs define how to conduct a life cycle assessment (LCA) for a product group and what data to include in the resulting report, known as an environmental product declaration (EPD), he explained. “LCAs measure inputs, outputs and environmental impacts of a product across its lifespan. EPD is the third-party-verified report that functions like a food nutrition label to explain the data generated from a life cycle assessment.”

According to Bill Freeman, consultant to the RFCI, “PCR development provides the necessary foundation for reporting and EPDs. 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.”

Bruursema added, “PCRs and EPDs provide industries and organizations with a scientifically verified and internationally accepted method of supporting environmental product claims.” Professionals who specify and purchase these products now have verified, science-based data to use in analyzing and selecting environmentally preferable products.”

The flooring PCR was established, he explained, in accordance with international environmental management guidelines (ISO 14025) through NSF’s National Center for Sustainability Standards (NCSS) and received input from flooring manufacturers, suppliers, regulatory agencies, environmental organizations and end users.

Trade organizations involved in the development of the PCR include the Carpet & Rug Institute (CRI), National Wood Flooring Association (NWFA), North American Laminate Flooring Association (NALFA), Resilient Floor Covering Institute (RFCI) and Tile Council of North America (TCNA).

Both the RFCI and CRI have a history of participation and collaboration with NSF. Respectively, they participated in the development of the sustainability assessment standard for resilient flooring (NSF/ANSI332) and for carpet (NSF/ANSI 140). Both of these standards utilize life cycle assessments to support certification.

NSF is an independent organization that writes standards and certifies products for flooring and other industries.

For more on the flooring PCR, contact NSF at 734.476.2543 or visit nsfsustainability.org.

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