RFCI Releases Industry Average Environmental Product Declarations

The Resilient Floor Covering Institute released five industry average Environmental Product Declarations, making resilient flooring the first floor covering category to offer industry average EPDs. Five types of resilient flooring were evaluated: vinyl tile including luxury vinyl tile, vinyl composition tile, homogeneous vinyl, heterogeneous vinyl and rubber. The development process spanned more than a year and included participation by 12 resilient flooring manufacturers: Amtico, Armstrong, Burke Flooring, Centiva, Congoleum, Gerflor, IVC US, Johnsonite, Mannington, Metroflor, Roppe and Tarkett.

The equivalent of a sustainability “nutrition label,” an EPD is a comprehensive disclosure of a product’s life-cycle-based environmental impacts. It documents environmental impacts from cradle to grave and offers a picture of effects on the atmosphere, water and earth. An EPD helps specifiers and purchasers assess life-cycle impacts and environmental attributes and facilitates product evaluation using factual data that is objective and transparent.

The resilient flooring EPDs are industry average, ISO 14025 Type III, third-party certified EPDs, which are recognized for contributing credits in LEED v4’s Material and Resources Credit 2. The EPDs report the industry average data for each product type, which was calculated by averaging together life-cycle assessment data from the participating manufacturers in each product type. These life-cycle assessments followed the industry Product Category Rules released last year, were completed in accordance with ISO 14025 guidelines and were audited by PE International Inc. UL Environment, a leading EPD Program Operator and global environmental solutions company, reviewed, verified and registered the EPDs.

The resilient flooring EPDs can be downloaded from RFCI or UL Environment’s websites. The websites also include Transparency Summaries that synthesize the comprehensive EPD data into shorter, single page reports. Specifiers can learn more about the EPDs and other sustainability efforts in the resilient flooring industry through CEU programing that will soon be available on the RFCI and UL Environment websites.

“The resilient industry has been at the forefront of sustainability efforts, developing such standards as NSF/ANSI 332, a multi-attribute third-party standard, and FloorScore, a third-party standard for product emissions,” says Dean Thompson, RFCI president. “Publishing EPDs was an important next step in bringing complete transparency and clarity to the sustainability process.”

“UL Environment is thrilled to be the conduit to bring credible transparency to the marketplace,” adds Paul Firth, EPD product manager at UL Environment. “EPDs that have been certified by UL Environment provide specifiers with new opportunities to pursue their sustainability goals and can empower smarter choices by connecting purchasers to detailed information about environmental impacts of products.”

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