NSF Sustainability is dedicated to greater transparency in product environmental reporting and has been a leading force in North America for development of multiattribute national product sustainability standards, product category rules and verification of environmental product declarations.
NRMCA has published an industrywide Environmental Product Declaration (EPD) for concrete and it has been verified by NSF Sustainability, a division of global public health organization NSF International.
Here are a few fast facts that may be of interest. The industry-wide concrete EPD:
- lists impacts for concrete ranging in compressive strength from 2,500 psi through 8,000 psi.
- covers concrete products used in residential, commercial and public construction produced by 70 NRMCA member companies in 2,300 concrete plants.
- presents the impacts for average concrete mixtures at the national level and in eight different regions of the country.
- includes reporting criteria for global warming potential, ozone depletion potential, acidification potential, eutrophication potential, and photochemical ozone creation/smog potential along with other impacts such as depletion of non-renewable energy resources, water consumption and waste.
This is important news for companies supplying concrete to building projects seeking LEED (Leadership in Energy and Environmental Design) v4 status or trying to meet other green building and sustainability goals. For example, to earn the relevant credit under LEED v4, building projects needs to source at least 20 products that have third-party verified EPDs. As concrete can be used for a wide range of applications (foundations, floors, curbs, beams, parking lots, etc.), concrete with verified EPDs go a long way in satisfying this credit requirement.
EPDs are increasingly used across many industries to enable product manufacturers to bring transparent environmental data to customers. An EPD’s specifications are established by a PCR, which is created by a committee of interested stakeholders and defines how to conduct a life cycle assessment (LCA) for a product group.