Canadian Manufacturing

CSA registers first green product declaration for cement

Cement, which is literally the foundation of modern society, will play a key role in the transition to a low carbon future, said the Cement Association of Canada

TORONTO—CSA Group has registered its first environmental product declaration (EPD) for the Cement Association of Canada for its general use (GU) and portland-limestone (GUL) cements.

CSA is a global provider of standards development and testing and certification services.

EPDs provide a standard way to communicate the environmental impact of a product and are becoming a more important part of the life cycle assessment of a building.

EPDs can measure environmental impacts from raw material extraction to the end product. They take into account overall energy use and efficiency, the materials that were used to make the product, chemical substances, emissions and waste generation.

“Environmental product declarations are a simple, easily understood way for contractors and architects – and the general public, to understand and evaluate the environmental impact of the products they choose,” said Magali Depras, president of standards at CSA Group.

Making noticeable improvements in the homes and offices occupied everyday could have a dramatic impact on greenhouse gas emissions. It is estimated that these buildings are one of the biggest contributors to greenhouse gas emissions in North America. To move toward a more sustainable future, EPDs and a life cycle approach to products can help to change the way building professionals select materials for new projects and give a picture of the overall viability of construction projects, and their long-term impact on the environment.

“Cement is used virtually exclusively to make concrete, a material that is literally the foundation of modern society and that will play a key role in the transition to a low carbon and climate resilient future,” said Michael McSweeney, president and CEO of the Cement Association of Canada. “The cement and concrete industry is committed to doing all it can to help in this transition. Not only are EPDs an important tool for providing data and transparency on materials but also to support complex integrated design processes that help maximize the role that materials like concrete can play in advanced energy efficient design.The two cement EPDs were developed in collaboration with the Athena Sustainable Materials Institute.”

Leadership in Energy and Environmental Design (LEED) is an international mark of excellence in green building and recognized by over 146 countries worldwide. LEED recognizes that sustainability must be a part of the design, construction and operation of a building. EPDs play an important role in LEED’s rating system, and developing and using these declarations will help ensure more sustainable building practices now and into the future.

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