CSA Group, a leading global provider of standards development and testing and certification services, announces the registration of its first environmental product declaration (EPD). The EPD was registered by the Cement Association of Canada for general use (GU) and portland-limestone (GUL) cements.
EPDs provide a standard way to communicate the environmental impact of available products and as such are an important part of the life cycle assessment of a building. EPDs can measure environmental impacts from raw material extraction to the end product. They take into account critical factors such as overall energy use and efficiency, the materials that were used to make the product, chemical substances, emissions and waste generation. EPDs are like the nutrition label on a food box: they help give a fuller picture of the environmental impacts of a product from beginning to end. With this information, architects and construction companies can make better informed choices, leading to the construction of greener and healthier buildings.
“Environmental product declarations are a simple, easily understood way for contractors and architects – and the general public, to understand and evaluate the environmental impact of the products they choose,” said Magali Depras, President of Standards, CSA Group. “CSA Group is proud to work with organizations like the Cement Association of Canada who are leading the way to a better, more sustainable world. We are pleased to announce that EPDs for these two products will be available for Canada’s future infrastructure.”
Making noticeable improvements in products in the built environment – the homes and offices occupied everyday – could have a dramatic impact on greenhouse gas emissions. It is estimated that these buildings are one of the biggest contributors to greenhouse gas emissions in North America, at more than 35 per cent 1. To move toward a more sustainable future, EPDS and a life cycle approach to products can help to change the way building professionals select materials for new projects and give a picture of the overall viability of construction projects, and their long-term impact on the environment. It is estimated that by building green and updating existing buildings, North America could reduce greenhouse gases by 25 per cent2.
“Cement is used virtually exclusively to make concrete, a material that is literally the foundation of modern society and that will play a key role in the transition to a low carbon and climate resilient future,” said Michael McSweeney, President and CEO of the Cement Association of Canada. “The cement and concrete industry is committed to doing all it can to help in this transition. Not only are EPDs an important tool for providing data and transparency on materials but also to support complex integrated design processes that help maximize the role that materials like concrete can play in advanced energy efficient design. The two cement EPDs were developed in collaboration with the Athena Sustainable Materials Institute.”
Leadership in Energy and Environmental Design (LEED) is an international mark of excellence in green building and recognized by over 146 countries worldwide. LEED recognizes that sustainability must be a part of the design, construction and operation of a building. EPDs play an important role in LEED’s rating system, and developing and using these declarations will help ensure more sustainable building practices now and into the future.
“I’d like to congratulate the CSA Group and the Cement Association of Canada, both supporters of CaGBC, for earning this first Environment Product Declaration,” says Thomas Mueller, President and CEO of the Canada Green Building Council (CaGBC). “As we work this year to help the Canadian market adapt their projects to LEED v4, declarations will play an increasingly significant role in getting to low-impact buildings. The growing emphasis on the lifecycle performance of products and materials in LEED v4 gives manufacturers a market opportunity to produce products for the next generation of green buildings.”
About CSA Group
CSA Group is an independent, not-for-profit membership association dedicated to safety, social good and sustainability. Its knowledge and expertise encompass standards development; training and advisory solutions; global testing and certification services across key business areas including hazardous location and industrial, transportation, plumbing and construction, medical, safety and technology, appliances and gas, alternative energy, lighting and sustainability; as well as consumer product evaluation services. The CSA certification mark appears on billions of products worldwide. For more information about CSA Group visit www.csagroup.org.
1 Ferlaino, J: Business in Focus Magazine, April 2014
2 Biello, D.: Scientific American, May 17, 2008