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Individual Highlight

Labeling Wood Products Based on Environmental Impacts - Helping consumers make sustainable choices

Photo of An excerpt from a Business to Consumer EPD for western redcedar decking. Jennifer O'Connor, FPInnovationsAn excerpt from a Business to Consumer EPD for western redcedar decking. Jennifer O'Connor, FPInnovationsSnapshot : Environmental product declaration (EPD) is a summary of the environmental impacts associated with producing and using a product or service. An EPD is based on a life cycle assessment (LCA) and can be used to compare products on an equal basis. EPDs are meant to communicate standardized LCA information in a way that is meaningful to consumers, much like using nutritional labels.

Principal Investigators(s) :
Bergman, Richard, PhD 
Research Station : Forest Products Laboratory (FPL)
Year : 2011
Highlight ID : 285


Transparent and credible environmental labeling of products is vital for a sustainable future. To aid in developing a sustainable future, evaluating products for their environmental impact using life cycle assessment (LCA) has become a growing research area. LCA, a science-based methodology, examines products from the point of extraction of raw materials for manufacturing the products to the point of final disposition. However, the results can be hard to interpret for the general public. EPDs provide a transparent and credible way of demonstrating to consumers and business the environmental benefits of choosing one product or another, much like using nutritional labels. This project was initiated to disseminate information on the potential use of LCA-based EPDs in the forest products industry.

Forest Service Partners

External Partners

  • Adam Taylor, Assistant Professor at the University of Tennessee Wayne Trusty, past-President of the ATHENA Institute

Program Areas