UL Environment, a business division of UL (Underwriters Laboratories), has published the first global Product Category Rule (PCR) for hand dryers. Publishing this new PCR is the first step in developing Environmental Product Declarations (EPDs), which will allow product specifiers and purchasers to evaluate environmental impacts of hand dryers from an ‘apples-to-apples’ comparison that follows ISO International Standards. The consortium of manufacturers, which includes Excel Dryer, World Dryer and FASTDRY (Hokwang Industries), collaborated in the creation of the PCR to provide the industry with consistent and transparent product evaluation standards.
PCRs help minimize confusion among various types of environmental reporting by establishing a clear, consistent evaluation method by which the environmental impact claims of all products in that industry are evaluated. Once a PCR is established, an EPD can be created based on product evaluations. The resulting EPD allows for a more fair comparison of environmental impacts between similar products.
UL Environment is a global program operator for PCRs and has over a century of experience developing safety and environmental standards. UL is looked to globally for science-backed development of PCRs and EPDs. UL Environment had worked with industries to issue nine PCRs, with five more in development, and has certified nearly 600 EPDs for manufacturers.
“At UL, we continue to break new ground in our mission of creating a safer, more sustainable world,” said product manager of Environmental Product Declarations at UL Environment, Anna Nicholson, who also serves as the PCR project manager. “We are proud to produce the first-ever published global PCR and to create the first industry consensus standard for the hand dryer industry.”
“We applaud the hand dryer industry’s efforts to develop this PCR because it is a big first step in providing transparency for hand dryers,” continued Nicholson. “The project was initiated by Excel Dryer and supported by World Dryer and FASTDRY (Hokwang Industries), who were instrumental in obtaining the consensus that we needed to publish this first-of-its-kind global PCR.”
PCRs are the first step in the development of an EPD, which is an important transparency tool. To produce an EPD, companies must first develop a life cycle assessment (LCA) for their product that addresses product specific calculations and requirements specified in a PCR.
“Excel Dryer is pleased to be an integral part of the development of this first-ever global PCR,” said William Gagnon, vice president of marketing at Excel Dryer, who also serves as the chairman of the hand dryer PCR. “Excel Dryer led the initiative to create the PCR that standardizes hand dryer testing methods on a global scale, the first of any industry. Consumers and the specifying community now have the tool they need to make more informed decisions on what products to purchase or specify that will protect natural resources and enhance the built environment. Creating a PCR for our industry supports this new ‘age of transparency’ and the push toward sustainable design.”
“By participating in the development of the hand dryer PCR, FASTDRY (Hokwang Industries) would like to ensure advancement of the hand dryer industry and the protection of the environment and consumers. We have always valued the sustainability of natural resources. To raise the same awareness among all hand dryer manufacturers is our target,” said James Hsu, president of Hokwang Industries.
“We are honored to be part of the collaborative development of a publication that provides the industry with clear, consistent product evaluation methods,” said Dan Storto, president of World Dryer. “Having a resource that helps companies achieve their sustainability goals and find products they can trust aligns with World Dryer’s mission to ensure every hand dryer we design delivers a positive environmental impact.”
Additionally, an open comment period provided a platform for all hand dryer manufacturers and product performance testing organizations to participate. The new global PCR can be found here.