Claude Goguen is a good friend and colleague of ours from the National Precast Concrete Association (NPCA). He recently posted an article in Precast Magazine noting that environmental product declarations (EPDs) may soon become mandatory for California state government and university projects.
The Buy Clean California Act (AB 262) would require state officials to take into account potential greenhouse gas emissions and global warming potential when selecting materials and suppliers. A list of eligible materials would be published and all suppliers would be required to submit a current EPD.
What is an EPD you might ask? An environmental product declaration is a full life cycle accounting (LCA) of impacts across the life of a product including raw material acquisition, manufacturing, delivery, installation, use, demolition, and recycling or disposal.
As Claude notes, EPDs are like food labels that allows us to compare environmental impacts (much like calories or sugars) between different products. AB 262 would require Type III (industry-wide) EPDS complying with ISO 14025 guidelines.
Regardless of whether AB 262 is enacted, ARTO is ahead of the curve because we have industry-wide EPDs for both architectural precast concrete (NPCA) and ceramic tile (TCNA Tile Council of North America). In fact, ARTO was selected to provide data for both documents which were the inaugural EPDs for these industries.