New PCR to provide science-based and internationally recognized methods for reporting the environmental impact of architectural coatings

ANN ARBOR, Mich. — Global public health organization NSF International has collaborated with the American Coatings Association (ACA) to develop the first North American product category rule (PCR) for architectural coating products for interior or exterior applications. The PCR for architectural coatings (which are widely used to beautify and maintain the surfaces of buildings) is science-based and has internationally recognized methods for reporting environmental impacts. This PCR helps architects and contractors identify products that meet their sustainability goals.

Product category rules define how to conduct a life cycle assessment (LCA) for a product group and what to include in the resulting environmental product declaration (EPD) report. The EPD is a third-party-verified report that explains the data generated from an LCA. The development of PCRs and EPDs has grown dramatically in recent years to help architects, designers and contractors meet green building goals by sourcing building materials that have proven lower environmental impacts.

The architectural coatings PCR was established in accordance with international environmental management guidelines (ISO 14025: Environmental labels and declarations -- Type III environmental declarations) through the NSF International National Center for Sustainability Standards (NCSS). The NCSS utilized an open multi-stakeholder process to develop the PCR with participation from architectural coatings industry personnel, material manufacturers, sustainability consultants, government agency representatives and other experts. The NCSS has issued or is developing PCRs and American national sustainability standards for a wide range of product and service categories, including commercial furnishings, fabrics, flooring, building products and materials, sanitizers, professional services, chemicals and water treatment and distribution systems.

“Developing this product category rule with the guidance and expertise of NSF International is an important step in helping the coatings industry become more sustainable,” said Douglas Mazeffa, Environmental Project Manager at the Sherwin-Williams Company. “Coating manufacturers now have the opportunity to create verified environmental product declarations that report the environmental impacts of their products to purchasers.”

“This new product category rule for architectural coatings meets the increase in demand for transparency in environmental claims,” said Jessica Evans, Director of Standards at NSF International. “NSF International’s robust PCR development and EPD validation services provide customers an internationally-accepted and science-based method to evaluate environmental claims and the impact of their products.”

For more information on NSF Sustainability, visit or contact Vanessa Gaggo at 734.827.5668 or

Editor’s Note: To schedule an interview with NSF International’s Director of Standards Jessica Evans, contact or call +1 734 214 6242.

About NSF International: NSF International is an independent organization that writes standards, tests and certifies products for the construction, food, water and commercial and consumer goods industries to minimize adverse health effects and protect the environment ( Founded in 1944, NSF is committed to protecting human health and safety worldwide. NSF is a World Health Organization Collaborating Centre for Food and Water Safety and Indoor Environment.

NSF Sustainability draws upon this expertise in standards development, product assurance and certification, advisory services and quality management systems to help companies create more sustainable products, operations, systems and supply chains. Through its National Center for Sustainability Standards, NSF has developed sustainability standards for product categories such as chemicals, building products and materials, and water quality. NSF works with leading regulators, scientists, engineers, public health and environmental health professionals, and industry representatives to develop these transparent, science-based standards, protocols, and product category rules.

Additional NSF services include Education and Training, safety audits for the food and water industries, nutritional/dietary supplement certification, organic certification provided by QAI (Quality Assurance International) and management systems registrations delivered through NSF International Strategic Registrations (NSF-ISR). NSF-ISR services include ISO 14001 Environmental Management Systems registration, Sustainable Forestry Initiative (SFI) and Chain of Custody (COC) certifications.

About ACA: The American Coatings Association (ACA) is a voluntary, nonprofit trade association working to advance the needs of the paint and coatings industry and the professionals who work in it. The organization represents paint and coatings manufacturers, raw materials suppliers, distributors, and technical professionals. ACA serves as an advocate and ally for members on legislative, regulatory and judicial issues, and provides forums for the advancement and promotion of the industry through educational and professional development services. Information about the industry’s sustainability initiatives can be seen on the ACA website