Global public health organisation NSF International, and the Business and Institutional Furniture Manufacturers Association BIFMA have released a new Product Category Rule PCR for office storage products that will help managers and specifiers meet green procurement goals and green building rating systems such as LEED.
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, explains NSF. 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 USGBC upcoming Leadership in Energy and Environmental Design LEED v4 green building rating system 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.”
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 such as flooring, commercial furnishings, building products and materials, and water treatment and distribution systems. BIFMA previously developed a PCR for office seating.