Frequently Asked Questions about ASTM's Environmental Product Declaration Programs
What is a Product Category Rule (PCR)?
A PCR is defined in ISO 14025 as a set of specific rules, requirements, and guidelines for developing environmental product declarations (EPDs) for one or more products that can fulfill equivalent functions. PCRs determine what information should be gathered and how that information should be evaluated for an EPD.
What is an EPD?
An EPD provides quantifiable environmental data to compare products that fulfill the same function. In order to create comparable EPDs, they must follow the same rules and guidelines called PCRs.
Who is responsible for managing the ASTM EPD Program?
ASTM International, through the Committee on Certification Programs, a standing committee of the ASTM Board of Directors, is responsible for the ASTM EPD Program, its scope and its procedures, including review and maintenance.
Is the ASTM International EPD Program limited to products and materials in North America?
The scope of the ASTM International EPD Program is primarily for the North American Market.
Does ASTM collaborate with other program operators?
Yes, ASTM works with other program operators to coordinate efforts to assist industry sectors while reducing duplication of effort.
Does ASTM charge a fee to develop, review, and publish a PCR?
No, ASTM does not charge any fees to develop, review, or publish a PCR.
Does ASTM charge a fee for the review of the PCR since there must be an independent review panel of three individuals?
No, ASTM does not charge any fees to review a PCR.
How are PCRs developed in ASTM?
PCRs are developed through a Technical Advisory Committee (TAC). The membership of the TAC includes manufacturers, association representatives, consumers, government representatives, purchasers, suppliers, users, and others.
Are PCRs developed using the ASTM standards development process?
No, PCRs will not be developed using the standards development process. PCRs will be developed by a TAC following the EPD Program General Program Instructions.
What involvement does the relevant ASTM technical committee have in the TAC?
The relevant ASTM technical committee will be consulted when an industry sector decides to develop a PCR in ASTM. In addition, representatives from the relevant ASTM technical committee will participate as members of the TAC.
Who determines the membership of the TAC?
ASTM staff, in concert with the relevant industry stakeholders and ASTM technical committee leadership, determines the leadership of the TAC.
Is there a limit to the number of members on the TAC?
No, there is no limit to the number of members on the TAC.
What defines consensus on the TAC?
A majority of the members within the TAC achieves consensus for the development of PCRs.
How do you resolve dissenting views?
Dissenting views will be discussed and addressed by the members of the TAC.
How will ASTM solicit comments/feedback on PCRs from stakeholders outside the TAC?
ASTM will provide a public comment period for each PCR so that any interested party may submit comments/feedback.
How will comments/feedback received on a PCR from stakeholders outside the TAC be handled by the TAC?
All comments/feedback will be provided to the TAC for review and response.
Does each industry have a distinct TAC?
It is anticipated that each industry will have a distinct TAC. In some cases, depending on the product/material, broad industry sectors may have more than one TAC.
How long are PCRs valid?
The TAC will define the validity period of the PCR.
How will PCRs be maintained?
The TAC will be responsible for maintaining the PCR.
What happens if there is an existing PCR published by another program operator?
ASTM staff will research all relevant PCRs from other program operators before developing a PCR. Any existing, relevant PCR will be reviewed. If the existing PCR is acceptable then ASTM will use that PCR for verifying EPDs. If the existing PCR is not acceptable then the TAC will provide a rationale for why it is not acceptable in the new PCR.
Does ASTM charge a fee for verifying EPDs?
Yes, ASTM charges a fee to verify a manufacturer’s EPD. For fee information please contact Tim Brooke, 610-832-9729 or firstname.lastname@example.org.