by Brianna Crandall — September 14, 2016 — UL Environment, a business division of UL (Underwriters Laboratories), announced this summer the publication of the first global Product Category Rule (PCR) for hand dryers. Publishing this new PCR is the first step in developing Environmental Product Declarations (EPDs), which will allow product specifiers and purchasers to evaluate environmental impacts of hand dryers from an “apples-to-apples” comparison that follows ISO International Standards.
The consortium of manufacturers, which includes Excel Dryer, World Dryer and FASTDRY (Hokwang Industries), collaborated in the creation of the PCR to provide the industry with consistent and transparent product evaluation standards.
Product Category Rules (PCRs) help minimize confusion among various types of environmental reporting by establishing a clear, consistent evaluation method by which the environmental impact claims of all products in that industry are evaluated, explains UL Environment. Once a PCR is established, an Environmental Product Declaration (EPD) can be created based on product evaluations. The resulting EPD allows for a more fair comparison of environmental impacts between similar products.
UL Environment is a global program operator for PCRs and has over a century of experience developing safety and environmental standards. UL is looked to globally for science-backed development of PCRs and EPDs. UL Environment had worked with industries to issue nine PCRs, with five more in development, and has certified nearly 600 EPDs for manufacturers.
PCRs are the first step in the development of an EPD, which is an important transparency tool. To produce an EPD, companies must first develop a life cycle assessment (LCA) for their product that addresses product specific calculations and requirements specified in a PCR.
Excel Dryer notes that consumers and specifiers now have the tool they need to make more informed decisions on what products to purchase or specify that will protect natural resources and enhance the built environment, supporting the new “age of transparency” and the push toward sustainable design.
World Dryer adds that the collaborative publication provides the industry with “clear, consistent product evaluation methods” that will help companies achieve their sustainability goals and find products they can trust.
Additionally, an open comment period provided a platform for all hand dryer manufacturers and product performance testing organizations to participate. The new global PCR for Hand Dryers can be found on the UL Environment Web site.