The American Wood Council (AWC) has released seven updated cradle-to-gate, industry-wide environmental product declarations (EPDs) for wood products. These third-party verified updates replace the 2013 editions previously available for use in determining the environmental footprint of the industry’s principal products, as well as with green building rating systems and sustainable construction standards.
Six of the EPDs were developed jointly by AWC and the Canadian Wood Council (CWC) and cover lumber, plywood, oriented strand board, laminated veneer lumber, I-joists, and glued laminated timber. The redwood lumber EPD was developed by AWC and replaces the previous cradle-to-grave EPD for redwood decking.
EPDs are standardised tools that provide valuable information based on life cycle inventory data
“Whether you are a developer, builder, designer or consumer, you want to know about the environmental impacts of products you specify and use. EPDs are standardised tools that provide valuable information based on life cycle inventory data,” said AWC Vice President of Codes & Regulations Kenneth Bland. “Each EPD also includes an example calculation for determining the long-term carbon sequestration of atmospheric CO2 after considering biogenic carbon emissions during manufacture for the product. This calculation is particularly useful for identifying the long-term benefit of using wood products, which convert atmospheric carbon dioxide, a significant greenhouse gas, to stored carbon.”
“Stakeholders in the building design and construction community are increasingly being asked to consider potential environmental and greenhouse gas impacts in their decision-making,” said Kevin McKinley, President and CEO of the CWC. “EPDs are transparent and help the end-user to identify the long-term benefits of stored carbon in wood products.”
UL Environment (ULE) again served as the programme operator for the wood products industry EPDs, requiring rigorous compliance with its Part A: Life Cycle Assessment Calculation Rules and Report Requirements. With support from the US Endowment for Forestry and Communities, the EPDs were developed from third-party verified life cycle assessment reports prepared by Consortium for Research on Renewable Industrial Materials, Athena SMI, and the US Department of Agriculture Forest Products Lab.
The new EPDs are available for downloading from ULE’s reports website “UL SPOT®” by searching “American Wood Council,” or from the AWC website. The updated EPDs are based on the 2019 Product Category Rule (PCR) ULE Part B: Structural and Architectural Wood Products EPD Requirements, which was developed in accordance with international standards ISO 21930 and EN 15804.