Global public health organization NSF International, Ann Arbor, Mich., is among the first organizations to be recognized by the American National Standards Institute (ANSI) as a program operator for product category rules (PCR) development and environmental product declarations (EPD) verification. As a PCR and EPD program operator, NSF International will help meet growing demand for standardization of science-based environmental data, reporting and verification.
EPD are increasingly used across many industries to enable material suppliers and product manufacturers to bring transparent environmental data to customers. EPD 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. In the building industry, EPD can assist architects and designers with determining specific product’s environmental impact within its category as well as to meet green building rating system criteria in LEED v4 and the latest Green Globes edition.
The ANSI accreditation process included on-site and remote audits that assessed NSF International’s policies and procedures, and reviewed PCR published and EPD verified under the program. Prior to earning accreditation, the organization participated in the ANSI pilot program, which was designed to bring the PCR and EPD process into compliance with (International Organization for Standardization) ISO 14020 and 14025 standards, as well as ISO/IEC 17065, Conformity assessment—Requirements for bodies certifying products, processes and services.
NSF helps companies build a portfolio of sustainable products and spans the complete PCR/LCA/EPD process by supporting PCR development, verifying LCA and EPD data, and providing third-party verification of final EPD reports. The NSF National Center for Sustainability Standards develops PCRs and American National Standards in sustainability for a wide range of product categories, including chemicals, building products and materials.
“Demand for standardized environmental impact information is growing quickly in many industries around the globe. Earning ANSI accreditation as a program operator demonstrates strength and leadership in developing PCRs and verifying EPDs that bring quality, science-based reporting that is essential for environmentally-minded decision making in many industries and in the building industry in particular,” says National Center for Sustainability Standards Director Jessica Evans.
The ANSI accreditation is concurrent with the addition of NSF sustainability standards for stone and other materials in the 2015 International Green Construction Code (IgCC). With the inclusion of these standards, architects, designers, engineers and others involved in the green building industry now have a wider selection of certified, IgCC-accepted sustainable building materials.
The IgCC is developed by the International Code Council with Cooperating Sponsors the American Institute of Architects, ASTM International, ASHRAE, Illuminating Engineering Society and U.S. Green Building Council. It is the first model code to include sustainability measures for the project and site—from design through construction to certificate of occupancy. The code helps make buildings more efficient, reduces waste and has a positive impact on health, safety and community welfare.