The Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) has a key role to play in ensuring the responsible advancement of the solutions needed to decarbonize the industrial sector, by providing assistance for environmental product declarations (EPDs), validating emissions reductions with data, and supporting low emissions labeling for construction materials. The Industrial Innovation Initiative has prepared a response to EPA’s request for information to support programs to lower embodied greenhouse gas emissions associated with construction materials and products.
Here are the key takeaways:
- EPA should align their prioritization for EPD assistance and carbon labeling with Federal Buy Clean efforts, prioritizing materials based on 1) their embodied carbon emissions intensity, 2) amount of production and procurement by federal and state governments, and 3) the level of data availability for these materials.
- EPA should consider hosting a common open-source database making background datasets and Lifecycle Assessment (LCA) methodologies and templates freely available for manufacturers to use. Additionally, the type of background datasets that are required to generate EPDs for each Product Category Rule (PCR) should be clearly defined for consistency.
- EPDs must always be independent third-party verified through an accredited verification body or approved individual verifiers. There should be a uniform and harmonized method of verification to avoid inaccurate data being reported. Further, carbon labeling can take EPDs to the next level by providing information on the climate and environmental performance of a product based on set definition of what ‘green’ means.
- EPA should harmonize PCRs and EPD methodologies with countries/regions in the process of developing their own repositories such as Canada and the EU.
I3 is a diverse coalition made up of key industry, labor, environmental, and business perspectives. For more information and how to get involved, contact us, or sign up for our monthly newsletter to stay up to date with our work.