NSI publishes first industry-wide EPDs

EPDsOberlin, Ohio—The Natural Stone Institute has published industry-wide ISO Type III environmental declarations, also known as environmental product declarations (EPDs), for three natural stone applications: cladding, flooring/paving and countertops. Also, 13 Health Product Declarations (HPDs) for natural stone have been published in 15 MasterFormat classifications.

An EPD is an independently verified and registered document that quantifies environmental information about the life cycle of a product to allow comparisons between products with the same function. These EPDs are cradle-to-grave to define environmental impacts throughout the entire life cycle, including extraction, manufacturing, installation, care/maintenance and disposal, the company said.

HPDs provide design teams and owners with greater transparency about material ingredients and their potential impacts on human health. With a special exception for geological materials, NSI has published statements representative of common rock types used in the stone industry, including granite, marble, quartzite and limestone.

“The EPDs and Life Cycle Assessment reports will help recognize natural stone as a lower-carbon building material,” said Sarah B Gregg, marketing director of the Natural Stone Institute and the industry leader for sustainability initiatives. “We’re also pleased to be able to provide this transparency to help design teams achieve their green building goals.”

According to Ralph Morgan, director of environment and sustainability at Polycor, we now have the independent data to show how using natural stone in projects can reduce carbon emissions, giving the construction community the information they want and need. “The importance of EPDs to the natural stone industry cannot be overstated,” Morgan said. “The terms ‘natural’ and ‘environmentally friendly’ don’t 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 construction projects, the company said. All NSI members can use the HPDs to represent their products. NSI says it would like to thank the following companies for their participation:

  • cold spring
  • Colorado Quarries
  • Continental cut stone
  • Advanced worksheets
  • Delgado Stone Distributors
  • freshwater stone
  • Independent Limestone Company
  • Ontra Stone Concepts
  • Planet Granite
  • polycor
  • Quality stone
  • royal stone
  • Russell Stone
  • Stone interior
  • Quarry of Stony Creek
  • Valley View Granite
  • Quarries in Vermont
  • Vetter Stone

NSI said it chose Sustainable Minds as the operator of the EHR program because of the company’s innovative EHRs. The SM Transparency Report [EPD] delivered the technical information required in EPDs and brings that data to life by telling the sustainability story of natural stone across the entire product life cycle. All lifecycle data 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 of Sustainable Minds. “The Transparency Report” [EPD] integrates product transparency with product marketing to make greener decisions by making environmental performance information easy to understand. Now members have EPDs and HPDs for their products, giving 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 exhibit together on November 1-3, 2022 at Greenbuild in San Francisco, California.

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