Product Benchmarking Acronyms Explained
LCA - Lifecycle Assessment
Allows architects and other building professionals to understand the energy use and environmental impacts of a building’s life cycle. The life cycle assessment of a product includes raw material extraction, manufacturing, processing, transportation to job sites and construction, use, and end-of-life. You may have also heard the terms cradle to cradle (a concept within the Circular Economy), cradle to grave, or cradle to gate to describe a product’s life cycle.
PCR, Product Category Rule
Used as a method for conducting and reporting a life cycle assessment or an EPD (see below) for a specific product category, like modified wood products. The PCR ensures all products in particular categories are measured the same way in each life cycle phase, and environmental impacts are quantified the same way. In short, a PCR defines the rules for creating an EPD.
EPD, Environmental Product Declaration
Is a third-party verified disclosure, voluntarily declared by the manufacturer, that communicates transparency to show the results of a life cycle assessment of a product. The EPD is a final report after a rather rigorous review process.
To summarize the three assessments above, the PCR governs the LCA, which regulates the EPD. The International Organization for Standardization developed the EPD (see below for more information).