The professional society for life cycle assessment

National Product Category Rule Repository


The National Product Category Rule Repository exists to develop the infrastructure for Environmental Product Declarations in the U.S. The services it provides include:


  1. Preparing communications materials and performing outreach to industrial and trade organizations and governments. The goal of this outreach is to make key economic sectors aware of the issues and opportunities presented by the global drive towards environmental product declarations.
  2. Cooperate with international PCR and EPD efforts. The PCR repository will act as the mirror body of other national, non-profit led efforts to assure cross-acceptance of PCRs with other nations.  Ultimately we hope to have a harmonized international system.
  3. Work to develop capacity within the industry sectors to develop their own PCRs. Although the Center intends to write PCRs, its ultimate goal is to have industry sectors develop their own PCRs. The PCRs are needed to cover the entire economy. We anticipate that at least 40,000 PCRs need to be developed and no one organization can be responsible for all the work this implies. Furthermore, it is the industry sectors themselves that have the information needed and have the driver to develop PCRs and EPDs.

    As a first step, the Center will develop guidance for developing a PCR program. This guidance document will be the basis of conformity assessment for permitting PCRs to be registered. That guidance will be offered to ASTM to make an international standard. Once the standard is finalized, it will be the basis of conformity assessment.
  4. Develop and register product category rules for example key products. Due to the current lack of capacity for PCR development in the U.S. , IERE will develop and register example  product category rules. It is currently working on rules in the building sector, the transportation sector and the food sector. IERE has been a program operator since 2000, through its Earthsure program.
  5. Work with green purchasing programs within the federal and state governments. One of the drivers for developing a repository is the many green purchasing initiatives of the federal state and local governments. Having a PCR repository allows simple inclusion of the products in specification documents based on registered PCRs. This is a driver towards better environmental performance as well as a boost for early adopters of the system.