Manufacturers Can Optimize EPDs With New UL Program

UL has launched a program focused on providing insight into Environmental Product Declarations, including product impact in comparison with the category average or previous product versions.

UL, a global safety science leader, has launched the industry’s first Environmental Product Declarations (EPDs) Optimization Credit program. Responding to five years of demand for EPD Optimization since the launch of LEED v4 in July 2013, UL’s program enables manufacturers to add value to their existing EPDs by providing insight into products’ reduced environmental impacts in comparison with the category average or previous product versions.

The EPD Optimization program leverages existing EPDs to credibly demonstrate a manufacturer’s impact reductions across its products’ value chain and is particularly valuable for earning LEED v4 credits for Building Product Disclosure and Optimization – Environmental Product Declarations Option 2, which will earn an additional full point for optimized EPDs.environmental product decl

Kohler And Interface Participating By Piloting Program

“UL is proud to develop the first program that can help manufacturers qualify for, and architects and designers identify, products that meet LEED v4 Building Product Disclosure and Optimization, EPD Option 2,” said Anna Lasso, senior product manager for UL’s Environment division. “For the first time, architects and designers can confidently use EPDs to compare products’ environmental performance, ushering in the next phase in product transparency. We applaud Kohler and Interface for being the first companies to introduce Optimized EPDs.”

EPDs provide transparency by evaluating a product’s impact on the environment throughout its life cycle. However, EPDs may not provide the full story of how a company’s continued dedication to sustainability has resulted in superior environmental performance over time. As companies continually raise the bar on sustainable products, it can be challenging to effectively demonstrate superior environmental performance compared to alternatives. UL is working with Interface and Kohler, two companies with a strong focus on product sustainability, to deliver the first EPD Optimizations in the market for their products.

“The EPD Optimization program offers us another opportunity to show that we are delivering on our Mission Zero commitment to eliminate any negative impact we have on the environment,” said Lisa Conway, vice president of sustainability at Interface Americas. “At the same time, it helps our customers achieve their own sustainability goals by quickly showing them lower footprint products with a maximum contribution to the LEED v4 point for Multi-Attribute Optimization.”

Kohler, designer and manufacturer of kitchen and bath products, has adopted the EPD Optimization program to credibly demonstrate the positive impact of its Design for Environment (DfE) innovation strategy.

“When we make DfE part of our product development strategy, innovation benefits are not limited to design and product performance; better outcomes for people and planet are expected too,” said Jeff Zeman, manager of product sustainability engineering at Kohler Co. “EPD Optimization was a natural next step to demonstrate this part of our design culture.”

EPD Optimization is available for building materials and construction products that currently have published EPDs. Some of these products include insulation, door hardware, roofing, flooring, paints, and plumbing fixtures.