Product Category Rules let NA pulp & paper industry communicate environmental footprints in compliance with international standards

Canada’s FPInnovations, in collaboration with The American Forest and Paper Association (AF&PA) and Forest Products Association of Canada (FPAC), has developed a Product Category Rule (PCR) for North American market pulp, paper and paperboard products, tissue and containerboard manufacturers which allows them to communicate the environmental footprints of their products in compliance with international standards.

The primary objective of PCRs is to provide the rules and requirements for conducting life cycle assessment (LCA) project reports and developing environmental product declarations (EPDs) for certain product categories. EPDs meeting ISO standards are considered to be the best way to communicate environmental footprints in an objective manner.

EPDs are based on LCAs and because LCA results are sensitive to the choice of assumptions and quality of the input data, LCAs carried out for developing EPDs are required to follow recognized PCRs to ensure the credibility and comparability of EPDs, especially for similar products.

This PCR was developed in accordance with the International Organization for Standardization (ISO) standards 14025 and 14044 with the participation of a broad stakeholder group that includes manufacturers, trade associations, government agencies, non-government organizations, retail representatives, independent parties, academia and other EPD program operators. The US Environmental Protection Agency, Environment Canada and Natural Resources Canada also took part in the development process.

In order to ensure the transparency of the PCR development process, FPInnovations chose an independent organization, Sustainability Edge Solutions, Mississauga, ON, to chair the technical committee established to develop the PCR and engaged with other program operators, namely the International EPD System in Europe and CSA Group in Canada, the latter hosting the public consultation of the draft PCR.

FPInnovations, www.fpinnovations.ca

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