NSI publishes first industry-wide EPDs

EPDsOberlin, Ohio—The Natural Stone Institute published industry-wide ISO Type III environmental declarations, also called 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/maintenance and disposal, according to the company.

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.

“The EPDs and life cycle analysis reports will help natural stone to be recognized as a lower-carbon building material,” said Sarah B Gregg, marketing director for the Natural Stone Institute and the industry’s leader for sustainability initiatives. “We’re also glad to be able to provide this transparency to help design teams accomplish their green building goals.”

According to Ralph Morgan, director of environment and sustainability for Polycor, 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 information they want and need. “The importance of having EPDs for the natural stone industry can’t be overstated,” Morgan said. “The terms ‘natural’ and ‘environmentally sustainable’ do not mean the same thing.”

Eighteen NSI members participated by contributing their lifecycle data and can now use these EPDs to represent their products for green building projects, according to the company. All NSI members can use the HPDs to represent their products. NSI said it would like to thank the following companies for their participation:

  • cold spring
  • Colorado Stone Quarries
  • Continental Cut Stone
  • Cutting Edge Countertops
  • Delgado Stone Distributors
  • Freshwater Stone
  • Independent Limestone Company
  • Ontra Stone Concepts
  • Planet Granite
  • polycor
  • Quality Stone
  • Royal Bedrock
  • Russell Stone
  • Stone Interiors
  • Stony Creek Quarry
  • Valley View Granite
  • Vermont Quarries
  • Vetter Stone

NSI said it 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 and 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.”

To celebrate the availability of these new environmental performance and material health reports for natural stone, the Natural Stone Institute and Sustainable Minds will be co-exhibiting at Greenbuild in San Francisco, Calif. on Nov 1-3, 2022.

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