WASHINGTON – The American Wood Council (AWC) was awarded a Wood Innovations grant through the U.S. Department of Agriculture (USDA) and U.S. Forest Service to support the expansion of AWC’s Lifecycle Assessment database that collects Environmental Product Declaration (EPD) and fiber sourcing data. The database is currently only available to AWC member companies, and the expansion will allow all U.S. wood products manufacturers who are not already AWC members to input their data without additional costs to the manufacturers or their trade associations.
“Robust environmental impact data compliant with ISO standards and demonstrated through EPDs are becoming a requirement by architects as a means for measuring the climate impacts of buildings they design. AWC’s centralized database will ensure consistency in data collection, transparent reporting of environmental impacts to the building community and increase the ease with which supply chain specific EPDs are produced at the national, regional, or even the manufacturer level should a company want,” said AWC Vice President of Markets & Sustainability Rachael Jamison.
Many smaller wood products manufacturers lack both the technical expertise and the financial resources to collect the data the market is demanding. AWC’s work to expand the LCA database will ensure these requirements are not barriers to small manufacturers in accessing emerging markets for low embodied carbon building materials.
“Investments through the Wood Innovations grants program to expand wood construction and new markets for wood products are critical for forest management,” said Brian Brashaw, USDA Forest Service Assistant Director for Wood Innovations. “Strong markets for wood products directly support our efforts to reduce wildfire risk and promote resilient forests.”
AWC plans to convene other wood products associations in late summer 2023 to discuss the opportunity, provide detailed insight into how the LCA tool works, and collaborate on how their respective member companies can engage.