Sources: ASTM International, West Conshohocken, Pa.; CP staff
Officials from ASTM, the (International Code Council) ICC Evaluation Service and Michigan-based NSF International have announced the first Program Operator Consortium, serving as an expert resource for creating product category rules (PCR), reviewing life cycle assessment (LCA) reports, plus verifying and publishing environmental product declarations (EPD).
Formal signing of a consortium agreement was scheduled in Washington, D.C., amid the 2015 Greenbuild International Conference and Expo, whose organizer, the U.S. Green Building Council, has ushered PCR, LCA and EPD into mainline construction as part of the LEED v4 rating and project certification system. ASTM, ICC ES, NSF and a fourth member, Cambridge, Mass., cloud software specialist Sustainable Minds LLC, will pool resources; leverage existing relationships; jointly conduct outreach, marketing, education and communications; and, promote overall PCR, LCA and EPD use in building and construction. Each member conforms to guidelines of ISO 14025-Environmental Labels and Declarations – Type III Environmental Declarations – Principles and Procedures.
“Our organizations have a global reach, so we are collectively poised to act as a clearinghouse for best practices,” says ASTM Executive Vice President Kathie Morgan. “Together, we can quickly meet needs and answer questions of all stakeholders.”
Manufacturers, suppliers and design professionals will begin to see co-branded, verified EPD from consortium members, who envision value to decision-makers when specifying materials and products, plus added visibility for product transparency efforts. “When an architect or specifier is choosing products, partners in this effort want them to recognize that a high-profile group is now linked together, providing instantly recognizable value in the marketplace,” notes ICC Evaluation Service President Shahin Moinian
“By working collaboratively, we can more effectively educate manufacturers and design professionals about the overall value of PCRs, LCAs and EPDs,” adds NSF Chief Technical Officer Dr. Lori Bestervelt. “That helps us strengthen our relationships, build new ones, and—just as importantly—support sustainability on an even larger scale.”
“With the proliferation of program operators, complex reporting requirements, and increased demand for these services, we saw the potential to deliver real and measurable value to manufacturers by launching this consortium,” affirms Sustainable Minds CEO Terry Swack. “[It] can create uniformity that will significantly reduce market confusion.”