CHICAGO, IL — What does it take to compile an environmental product declaration? For the maker of Solar Gard window films, it was a two-year project to amass data spanning the lifecycle of the product line and its impacts globally. In the end, the firm found that the products aren't just carbon neutral but also have a net positive impact on the environment.
Or as the company likes to put it, the products are "carbon negative, earth positive."
"A year ago we could not have had this conversation, and three years ago we didn't know what an EPD is," said Kathryn Giblin, vice president of global marketing and technical services for Solar Gard's maker, Bekaert Specialty Films LLC, which manufactures solar control and safety window films. Based in San Diego, Calif., BSF is the U.S. subsidiary of the Belgian firm Bekaert.
Giblin's comments came at a briefing last week at the Greenbuild conference in Chicago, where her firm provided the backstory for the recently completed environmental product declaration that covers the 32 types of window films in the Solar Gard line.
The window films help cut energy costs by as much as 30 percent and prevent 1,001 times more greenhouse gas emissions from entering the atmosphere than are related to its manufacture, according to the company.
Compiled using international standards for lifecycle analysis and reporting (ISO 14040 and 14025), the environmental product declaration was reviewed by independent consulting firm Altanova LLC, which said BSF's project was "the largest EPD ever completed." The EPD also is registered with the International EPD System and The Green Standard.
This leg of the company's sustainability journey began with BSF's documentation of its Solar Gard line for a climate declaration, which GreenBiz.com guest blogger Leanne Tobias detailed in a post this summer.
"We started with our climate declaration for our solar control films ... and we made the decision to do the full EPD," Giblin said. "With our commitment to transparency and environmental responsibility, we thought it is very important to move forward and provide (information about) the environmental performance of our product."