Environmental Product Declarations (EPDs) are increasing in importance also in Australia. As part of its Green Star 2014 program, the Green Building Council of Australia (GBCA) has announced new credits available for Life Cycle Assessment (LCA).
The additional life cycle analysis points fall under the new “Innovation Challenges” initiative and will be issued within the first round of challenge for Environmental Product Declarations (EPDs) and Materials Lifecycle Impacts.
The Green Building Council of Australia announced that the Innovation Challenges “are a new initiative that will encourage and direct investment in solutions that address a wide range of social, economic and environmental sustainability issues”.
Up to six points can be claimed for “Lifecycle Assessment: Material Lifecycle Impacts”, to reduce the environmental impact of the materials and products used in buildings throughout its projected usable life in comparison to a typical building.
For Environmental Product Declarations (EPD) as defined by ISO 14025 two additional points can be claimed. EPDs support communication of life cycle environmental performance of products, materials and services in a credible and understandable way.
Barbara Nebel Managing Director of PE Australasia and President of the the Life Cycle Association New Zealand welcomes these changes. “ The timing for adding LCA based credits to Green Star 2014 couldn’t be better, comments Barbara Nebel. LCANZ together with the Australian counterpart the Australian Life Cycle Assessment Society (ALCAS) have recently signed a Memorandum of Understanding to implement a Australasian EPD scheme based on the International EPD System.
The Australasian EPD scheme so Barbara Nebel “will not only provide relevant, verified and comparable information about the environmental impact of goods and services, but will also help driving improvement as manufacturers strive to improve energy efficiency, durability and environmental performance of their products.”
The changes to the Green Star Innovation category are part of a wider programme updating the Green Star criteria for 2014 and are effective from 15 September 2013.
For more information on the changes to the Green Star Innovation category and Green Star Innovation Challenges, please visit: www.gbca.org.au/green-star/innovation/