NORTHBROOK, IL – UL Environment, Inc., a wholly owned subsidiary of Underwriters Laboratories (UL) and a global leader in environmental evaluation and certification, announced today that it will be launching an Environmental Product Declaration (EPD) Program in January 2011. UL Environment’s EPD program provides a comprehensive, globally recognized, and scientifically robust mechanism to consistently evaluate environmental claims on products.

Equivalent to a sustainability “nutrition label,” an EPD is the documentation of an audited Life Cycle Assessment (LCA) of the environmental performance of a product, based on approved Product Category Rules (PCRs) in accordance with ISO 14025 guidelines. UL Environment’s EPD program provides the structure and global scale necessary to support comparative cradle-to-grave assessments of products across multiple categories. Initial product categories that have expressed interest in this type of program include, but are not limited to, building products, lighting and textiles.

As a result of the USGBC’s LEED rating system, emphasis on green building has grown significantly over the past 10 years. A recent study conducted for UL Environment by sustainability consulting firm MindClick SGM revealed that a staggering 90 percent of architects and designers have researched, specified or purchased green products in the past year.

“With more than 300 certifications and eco-labels on the market, determining which products are truly green is next to impossible. Our EPD service will add credibility and alleviate market confusion by helping purchasers make informed decisions,” said Stephen Wenc, President of UL Environment.

According to the research, almost 75 percent of architects and designers sited the comprehensive evaluation of a product’s environmental impact as being absolutely essential in specifying a green product. “Nearly half of manufacturers who serve the contract, hospitality, and residential building markets are currently developing greener products. This EPD program will help to communicate product attributes holistically which ultimately provides a fuller picture of the product’s environmental impact,” said Wenc.

About UL Environment, Inc.
UL Environment is a full-service environmental solutions company. UL Environment is helping support the growth and development of sustainable products, services and companies in the global marketplace through standards development, independent third-party assessment, certification and knowledge services. UL Environment is a wholly owned subsidiary of Underwriters Laboratories, a global leader in conformity assessment that has been testing products and writing standards for more than a century. UL Environment currently offers Environmental Claims Validation (ECV), a service testing and verifying manufacturers’ self-declared environmental claims and Sustainable Products Certification (SPC), a service evaluating and certifying products to accepted industry standards for environmental sustainability, Energy Efficiency Certification (EEC), a service testing and verifying product compliance with mandatory and voluntary energy efficiency regulations and programs and Environmental Product Declarations (EPD), a service evaluating product impacts through a life cycle assessment, which synthesizes data into a third-party certified report. UL Environment is developing additional environmental standards, as well as training and advisory services to support organizations in the sustainable products and services industry.

SOURCE: UL Environment Inc.

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