NSF International Developing Science-Based Product Category Rule for Flat and Float Glass to Enable Environmental Attribute Reporting and Comparison

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Product Category Rules are science-based, internationally-recognized methods of reporting the environmental impact of a product throughout its entire life cycle; defining the elements to include in Environmental Product Declarations

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Developing a PCR for float and flat glass is an important step for the industry toward a more sustainable future.

NSF International, in cooperation with the Glass Association of North America’s (GANA) Float Glass Manufacturing Division, is developing a Product Category Rule (PCR) for flat and float glass. Flat glass includes sheet glass, plate glass, rolled glass and float glass* and is used in a wide range of architectural, auto and decorative applications. This PCR will provide a science-based and internationally recognized method for reporting the environmental impact of glass products and materials throughout their entire life cycle.

Product Category Rules define the elements of a life cycle assessment (LCA) for a particular product group and what to include in an Environmental Product Declaration (EPD), a third-party-verified report summarizing the data generated from a life cycle assessment. The U.S. Green Building Council’s Leadership in Energy and Environmental Design (LEED) has a pilot credit that recognizes materials that have third-party verified EPDs.

NSF International's Sustainability division provides third-party verification of EPDs by confirming that the data is collected in accordance with the applicable PCR and meets all ISO requirements. The PCR for flat and float glass products will be established in accordance with the international environmental labeling standard ISO 14025 through the NSF National Center for Sustainability Standards.

The NSF National Center for Sustainability Standards (NCSS) will utilize an open consultative process to develop the PCR with participation from an expert panel of glass manufacturers, suppliers, regulatory agencies, life cycle practitioners, trade associations, and end users. The NCSS has developed PCRs and American national sustainability standards for a wide range of product categories, including chemicals, commercial and institutional furniture, carpets, wallcovering, textiles, flooring, building products and materials, and is developing others for broad industries including water treatment and distribution systems.

“There is growing interest in transparency of product information both domestically and abroad. The inclusion of criteria supporting Environmental Product Declarations in the LEED V4 Green Building Rating System Standards in development will further increase demand if adopted,” said Tom Bruursema, General Manager of NSF Sustainability. “GANA is taking an important step in the green building industry to develop the PCR that will enable the reporting and comparison of the environmental attributes of their products.”

“Enabling comparisons of glass products on the basis of their environmental impact, using standardized and scientifically sound data, will provide a competitive incentive for glass manufacturers to focus on the environmental impacts of their products and operations. Developing a PCR for float and flat glass is an important step for the industry toward a more sustainable future,” said Mike Turnbull, Guardian Industries Corp., Glass Association of North America’s Float Glass Manufacturing Division representative and NSF PCR Chair.

For more information on NSF Sustainability, visit http://www.nsfsustainability.org or contact Dennis Gillan at 734-476-2543 or sustainability(at)nsf(dot)org.

For more information on GANA, visit http://www.glasswebsite.com or contact Ashley Charest at 785-271-0208 or acharest(at)glasswebsite(dot)com

About NSF International: NSF International is an independent organization that writes standards, and tests and certifies products for the commercial goods, food, water and consumer goods industries to minimize adverse health effects and protect the environment (nsf.org). Founded in 1944, NSF is committed to protecting human health and safety worldwide. NSF is a World Health Organization Collaborating Centre for Food and Water Safety and Indoor Environment.

NSF Sustainability draws upon this expertise in standards development, product assurance and certification, advisory services and quality management systems to help companies green their products, operations, systems and supply chains. Through its National Center for Sustainability Standards, NSF has developed sustainability standards for product categories such as chemicals, building products and materials, and water quality. NSF works with leading regulators, scientists, engineers, public health and environmental health professionals, and industry representatives to develop these transparent, science-based standards, protocols, and product category rules. NSF Sustainability also provides environmental product declaration verification by confirming that the data was collected in accordance with the applicable product category rule.

Additional NSF services include Education and Training, safety audits for the food and water industries, nutritional/dietary supplement certification, organic certification provided by QAI (Quality Assurance International) and management systems registrations delivered through NSF International Strategic Registrations (NSF-ISR). NSF-ISR services include ISO 14001 Environmental Management Systems registration, Sustainable Forestry Initiative (SFI) and Chain of Custody (COC) certifications.

About GANA: The Glass Association of North America provides the organizational structure for addressing the needs of a diverse membership. Comprised of the Building Envelope Contractors, Decorative, Energy, Flat Glass Manufacturing, Insulating, Laminating, Mirror and Tempering Divisions and an Affiliate Classification, GANA provides a forum for exchanging information and ideas and presenting a unified voice on matters affecting the glass industry and for developing the management and technical sophistication needed to remain competitive in a constantly changing business environment. To learn more about GANA, go to http://www.glasswebsite.com or follow us on Twitter at http://www.twitter.com/glassnation.

  • Float glass is made by floating molten glass on a bed of molten metal, typically tin. Modern windows are made from float glass. (Source: Glass Association of North America)

CONTACT: Greta Houlahan
NSF International
Phone: 734-913-5723
Email: houlahan(at)nsf(dot)org

Ashley Charest
Glass Association of North America
Phone: 785-271-0208
Email: acharest(at)glasswebsite(dot)com

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