Over the past several decades, environmental issues have become an increasing priority for both government and private industry alike. Here in North America the emphasis has gradually broadened from site-specific environmental degradation to include the characterization of product burdens. Similarly, many private companies and/or their respective trade associations have increasingly emphasized environmental information and often share this information with their customers in the form of a environmental product declaration (EPD). Life cycle assessment (LCA) is the backbone on which a Type III EPD is based.
The use of LCA is growing in the mainstream as green building ratings systems (e.g., LEED V4 and Green Globes), government procurement policies, and pollution prevention programs are contemplating or already incorporating the use of environmental performance measures that can only be objectively provided through a thorough LCA study. Similarly, many product manufacturing companies are adopting “design for the environment” environmental management systems to either reduce the overall mass or material complexity of their products or to streamline their manufacturing processes and consequently reduce environmental burdens emanating from their plants, as well as making it easier for their products to be recycled at their end-of-life.
The Canadian Wood Council commissioned the Athena Sustainable Materials Institute to update the Institute’s 2012 cradle-to-gate LCA of Canadian LVL production in support of a joint N. American environmental product declaration (EPD) initiative. Consequently, the previous research has been updated with new primary gate-to-gate production data, revised background data, and this new report. This research has been completed in accordance with the most recent version of FPInnovations PCR for North American Structural and Architectural Wood Products.