International Guidance to Improve the Comparability of LCA-Based Claims

Authors: 
Ingwersen, W., U.S. Environmental Protection Agency

Environmental claims based on life cycle assessment (LCA) provide quantitative, full life cycle information on products in a format that can permit comparisons and thereby inform purchasing decisions. In recent years, a number of standards and guides have emerged for making LCA-based claims, each requiring that Product Category Rules (PCR) be developed for making comparable claims within a category, but there has been little cooperation on developing PCRs. In order to address this problem, the Product Category Rule Guidance Development Initiative (http://www.pcrguidance.org) developed a guidance document that provides recommendations on developing PCRs in a harmonized manner. More than 45 organizations from 13 countries including governments, manufacturers, NGOs, universities, consultants, international organizations and product sustainability consortia collaborated on the Guidance document. A background of the effort will be described, the contents of the Guidance will be summarized, and the use of the guidance document will be discussed.