Natural Stone Institute Publishes Industry-Wide Environmental Product Declarations

The Natural Stone Institute has published industry-wide ISO Type III Environmental Product Declarations (EPDs) for three applications of natural dimension stone: Cladding, Flooring/Paving, and Countertops. Also published are 13 Health Product Declarations (HPDs) for natural stone found in 15 MasterFormat® classifications.

An EPD is an independently verified and registered document that quantifies environmental information on the life cycle of a product to enable comparisons between products fulfilling the same function. These EPDs are cradle to grave in scope to define the environmental impacts throughout the entire life cycle, including quarrying, fabrication, installation, care and maintenance and disposal.

HPDs provide design teams and owners greater transparency of material ingredients and their potential human health impacts. Through a special exception for geological materials, NSI published declarations representative of common stone types used in the dimension stone industry, including granite, marble, quartzite, and limestone.

Sarah B Gregg, Marketing Director for the Natural Stone Institute and the industry’s leader for sustainability initiatives commented, “The EPDs and life cycle analysis reports will help natural stone to be recognized as a lower-carbon building material.” Ralph Morgan, Director of Environment and Sustainability for Polycor agreed, “The importance of having EPDs for the natural stone industry can’t be overstated. The terms ‘natural’ and ‘environmentally sustainable’ do not mean the same thing. We now have the independent data to show how using natural stone in projects can provide lower embodied carbon options, providing the building community with the information they want and need.”

Eighteen NSI members participated by contributing their lifecycle data. These members can now use these EPDs to represent their products for green building projects. All NSI members can use the HPDs to represent their products.

NSI selected Sustainable Minds® as the EPD program operator because of the company’s innovative EPDs. The SM Transparency Report [EPD]™ provided the technical information required in EPDs and brings that data to life by telling the natural stone sustainability story across the product life cycle. All life cycle data included in the reports is third-party verified by Ecoform, LLC.

“With increasing awareness of the environmental impact of building and construction materials and the demand for transparency, EPDs are becoming a requirement for public and private procurement,” said Terry Swack, Founder & CEO, Sustainable Minds. “The Transparency Report [EPD] integrates product transparency with product marketing to drive greener decisions by making environmental performance information easy to understand. Now members have EPDs and HPDs for their products, providing them an advantage in today’s market.”

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