Dalton—Tandus Flooring is the first in its industry to publish EPDs for its ethos Modular and Powerbond ethos Cushion under the new Product Category Rules (PCRs) for flooring recently issued by NSF International. Developing and publishing EPDs demonstrates Tandus Flooring’s commitment to transparency, accountability and third party validation of environmental product claims, all consistent practices within company’s Infinity Initiative. Tandus Flooring currently is working on additional EPDs that could launch within coming weeks resulting in approximately 95% of the company’s US products having EPDs.
An Environmental Product Declaration (EPD) provides Life Cycle Assessment (LCA) results and other relevant product information in a fact-based, comprehensive report. LCA evaluates a product’s environmental impacts throughout its various life stages from raw material sourcing and extraction through end-of-life disposal or recycling and provides a comprehensive picture of the amount of energy, water, and materials consumed in the production and use of a product. EPDs provide manufacturers with a standard method and reporting format for product life cycle data and specifiers with clear, accurate, verified product information to assist them in making informed purchasing decisions.
“We were the first in the industry to acquire third party certification for our environmental claims,” said Lynn Preston, Technical Environmental Manager, Tandus Flooring. “Publishing the EPDs was the natural next step in the process of ensuring complete transparency in our environmentally responsible practices.”
To begin the process of acquiring the EPD, Tandus Flooring had cradle-to-grave Life Cycle Assessments conducted for its products. The assessments accounted for production at Tandus Flooring facilities in the United States and use of the flooring products in the United States (for US customers) and in Europe (for customers in Europe). PE International, Inc. performed an external peer review of the LCA results.
EPDs generated by Tandus Flooring were reviewed, verified and registered by UL Environment, an EPD Program Operator. Additionally, a Transparency Brief for the EPD and results was produced which can be found on both the UL Environment Sustainable Product Database and Tandus Flooring’s website.
“In today’s competitive marketplace for environmentally sustainable solutions, EPDs benefit both manufacturers and buyers,” said Paul Firth, UL Environment EPD Program Manager. “Manufacturers who offer EPD-backed products can gain important competitive advantages against producers who lack transparent documentation of their products’ environmental impacts.”
The U.S. Green Building Council’s (USGBC) LEED Pilot Credit 61 Material Disclosure and Assessment rewards products with EPDs. To obtain credit, 20% by cost of either structural or non-structural products must meet the specified criteria. Third party certified, product specific EPDs, such as Tandus Flooring’s ethos contribute toward Pilot Credit 61 at twice their cost value.
“This pilot credit rewards manufacturers for providing accurate and transparent product information which in turn, will assist specifiers with product selection,” added Preston. “Through our Infinity Initiative, we have acknowledged the importance of third party certification of environmental claims and the life cycle assessment of products.”