Sustainable Design

Environmental Product Declarations

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Wood and Environmental Product Declarations

Environmental Product Declarations (EPDs) are concise, standardized, independently verified reports on environmental performance. Based on life cycle assessment (LCA) data, they give decision makers an immediate, reliable and non-judgmental way to evaluate a product’s environmental impacts over its lifetime—in terms of its embodied energy and global warming potential, and by other important measures such as use of natural resources, emissions to air, soil, and water, and waste generation.

Although EPDs have become a standard part of decision making elsewhere in the world, they are relatively new to North America—produced mainly by large manufacturers or industries committed to being leaders in environmental performance, and used by leading design firms with the same objective. In particular, the use of EPDs in the building industry is currently expanding, thanks to a growing demand for sustainability in every aspect of a building’s design, construction and operation, and the recognition that this cannot be effectively accomplished without verifiable, comprehensive, transparent data about environmental impacts.

Available EPDs:

The American Wood Council (AWC) and Canadian Wood Council (CWC) recently released several new EPDs:

  • Softwood lumber
  • Softwood plywood
  • Oriented strand board
  • Glued laminated timbers
  • Laminated veneer lumber
  • Wood I-joists
  • Redwood Decking

EPDs can be downloaded from the AWC or CWC website along with transparency briefs summarizing the most critical data presented in each.

FPInnovations has also published several documents through its EPD program on wood products: