The global public health organization NSF International has collaborated with the American Coatings Association to develop the first North American product category rule (PCR) for architectural coating products for interior or exterior applications. The PCR for architectural coatings uses recognized methods for reporting environmental impacts, and helps architects and contractors identify products that meet their sustainability goals. Product category rules define how to conduct a life cycle assessment (LCA) for a product group and what to include in the resulting environmental product declaration (EPD) report. The EPD is a third-party-verified report that explains the data generated from an LCA. The development of PCRs and EPDs has grown dramatically in recent years to help architects, designers and contractors meet green building goals. The architectural coatings PCR was established in accordance with international environmental management guidelines (ISO 14025: Environmental labels and declarations – Type III environmental declarations) through the NSF International National Center for Sustainability Standards (NCSS). The NCSS utilized an open multi-stakeholder process to develop the PCR with participation from architectural coatings industry personnel, material manufacturers, sustainability consultants, government agency representatives and other experts. The NCSS has issued or is developing PCRs and American national sustainability standards for a wide range of product and service categories, including commercial furnishings, fabrics, flooring, building products and materials, sanitizers, professional services, chemicals and water treatment, and distribution systems. “Developing this product category rule with the guidance and expertise of NSF International is an important step in helping the coatings industry become more sustainable,” said Douglas Mazeffa, environmental project manager at Sherwin-Williams Co. “Coating manufacturers now have the opportunity to create verified environmental product declarations that report the environmental impacts of their products to purchasers.” “This new product category rule for architectural coatings meets the increase in demand for transparency in environmental claims,” adds Jessica Evans, director of standards at NSF International. “NSF International’s robust PCR development and EPD validation services provide customers an internationally-accepted and science-based method to evaluate environmental claims and the impact of their products.” www.nsfsustainability.org