LEED v4 recognizes the value of PCRs and Environmental Product Declarations (EPDs)

ANN ARBOR, Mich. — NSF International, a global public health organization, and the Business and Institutional Furniture Manufacturers Association (BIFMA) have released a new Product Category Rule (PCR) for office storage products. The PCR defines the science-based and internationally recognized method for reporting the environmental impact of office storage products such as casegoods, files, cabinets and other related products throughout their entire life cycle.

The Product Category Rule for office storage products explains how to conduct a life cycle assessment (LCA) for office storage products and what to include in the resulting Environmental Product Declaration (EPD). LCAs measure inputs, outputs and environmental impacts of a storage product across its lifespan, from cradle to grave. The EPD is the third-party-verified report that explains the data generated from a life cycle assessment.

The office storage PCR was developed in accordance with international environmental management guidelines (ISO 14025) through the NSF National Center for Sustainability Standards, part of NSF International’s Sustainability Division. The U.S. Green Building Council’s Leadership in Energy and Environmental Design (LEED) v4 recognizes the value of PCRs/EPDs and the current draft includes LEED credit language that recognizes EPDs specifically.

“The development of Product Category Rules for storage products helps meet the increasing demand for transparency in environmental claims,” explained Tom Bruursema, General Manager of NSF International’s Sustainability Division. “PCRs, LCAs and EPDs provide crucial information to help businesses and government agencies meet their greener purchasing goals and be ready for LEED.”

“We are pleased to partner with NSF International on behalf of our members to develop PCRs for the storage industry so that they may report on their cutting-edge sustainability efforts. PCRs will help move the contract furniture industry toward a more sustainable future,” said Thomas Reardon, Executive Director of BIFMA. “This PCR for office storage products is our second PCR as we previously developed one for office seating.”

Background on NSF International’s PCR Development Process

The NSF National Center for Sustainability Standards (NCSS) utilized an open consultative process to develop the storage PCR with participation from an expert panel of storage manufacturers, suppliers, regulatory agencies, environmental organizations and end users. NCSS has developed PCRs and American national sustainability standards for multiple product categories in addition to flooring and storage products such as commercial furnishings, building products and materials, and water treatment and distribution systems.

For more information on NSF’s Sustainability Division, visit nsfsustainability.org or contact Dennis Gillan at 734-476-2543 or sustainability@nsf.org.

Editor’s note: To schedule an interview with NSF Sustainability General Manager Tom Bruursema, contact Greta Houlahan at houlahan@nsf.org or 734-913-5723.

About BIFMA: BIFMA is the not-for-profit trade association for business and institutional furniture manufacturers. Since 1973, BIFMA’s role has been to monitor the state of the industry, serve as a forum for member cooperation and collaboration, sponsor the development and refining of current and future standards, educate on their importance and application, and translate their necessary complexity into more easily understood and implemented formats. Learn more: www.bifma.org.

About NSF International:  NSF International is a global independent organization that writes standards, and tests and certifies products for the construction, food, water, health science and consumer goods industries to minimize adverse health effects and protect the environment (nsf.org). Founded in 1944, NSF is committed to protecting human health and safety worldwide.

NSF Sustainability draws upon this expertise in standards development, product assessment and certification, testing advisory services and quality management systems to help companies green their products, operations, systems and supply chains.