Timed with last month’s Greenbuild International Conference in Los Angeles, the green building industry’s first and leading consortium of program operators announced two new members and an enhanced technical advisory board. CSA Group, the Canadian standards development organization, joins existing consortium members ASTM International, ICC-Evaluation Service, NSF Sustainability, SCS Global Services and Sustainable Minds.
The first affiliate member of the consortium is thinkstep, a software, data, and environmental-consulting services company that works with 40 percent of the Fortune 500 companies. “Standardizing the PCR and EPD creation process is essential to lowering costs and scaling up the use of products that reduce environmental impact,” says thinkstep Director of Product Sustainability Nuno da Silva.
The Program Operator Consortium launched in October 2015 to provide simpler, standardized, and more useful environmental-product transparency solutions and to reduce complexity in the marketplace. It serves as an expert resource and advocate for creating product category rules (PCRs), reviewing life cycle assessment reports (LCA), and verifying and publishing environmental product declarations (EPDs). The Affiliate Member Program was recently created for industry associations, government agencies, standards developers, consultants, and data providers to have access to expertise from a like-minded community. The free program also provides education, discounted rates, and a seat the table to contribute to creating uniformity across environmental reporting formats, data requirements, and communication.
Each consortium member is represented in the group’s Technical Advisory Board. As LCA experts, they oversee the harmonized implementation of the consortium’s North American two-part PCR framework, which consortium members have aligned to use and maintain over the past year. PCR created by any member will produce standardized environmental declarations, helping both manufacturers as well as decision-makers who specify green building materials and products. The first comprehensive catalog of North American PCR and an aggregated catalog of EPD from members’ programs are available at www.programoperators.org.