The PCR for Architectural Coatings Will Allow for Verifiable Environmental Product Declarations

A Product Category Rule (PCR) for Architectural Coatings is now available for free, and will allow for the publication of verifiable Environmental Product Declarations (EPDs). The PCR for Architectural Coatings, conceived and shepherded by ACA, was facilitated by NSF International, a third party developer of public health standards and certification programs.

The final PCR for Architectural Coatings may be viewed and downloaded here.

The utility of the PCR for Architectural Coatings is timely and considerable, since decision makers are increasingly considering information about the life-cycle impacts of products when selecting which products they choose to sell, specify, or use. Retailers, standard-setting bodies, and consumers are requiring information or giving favorable status to products and brands able to describe their life-cycle impacts and benefits. A PCR provides an agreed upon framework for measuring the environmental impacts of a product based on a defined set of criteria, which allows manufacturers to conduct life cycle assessments (LCA) of their products in a standardized way, and publish this information in an Environmental Product Declaration (EPD), if they so choose.

ACA and the U.S. coatings industry recognized the need to respond to this market demand, and the newly developed PCR for Architectural Coatings will position the industry to compete with other building materials that already have PCRs. ACA is also working to harmonize the PCR with a similar effort under the authority of the European Commission entitled the Product Environmental Footprint Pilot Program.

Sustainability guidelines and green certification programs are also giving preferential treatment to products with verified EPDs. The newest version of the Leadership in Energy and Environmental Design (LEED) green building rating system rewards construction projects for using materials for which an EPD is provided, and other green building schemes relied on by the federal government are following suit.

Those are but two examples of the growing importance and demand for EPDs, but consider too, that LCA results can be used to demonstrate performance attributes of products, including durability. LCA also provides paint and coating manufacturers with the opportunity to exhibit improvements in resource efficiency across the supply chain.