In an industry-leading move for the roofing industry, Owens Corning has introduced the first roofing Environmental Product Declaration (EPD). An EPD is an independently verified document that gives the reader transparent and comparable information about the life-cycle environmental impact of products. That goes from cradle to grave, covering everything from raw material extraction to manufacture and production to disposal and end of life.

At the Greenbuild 2015 International Conference and Expo in Washington, D.C., in November, Owens Corning Roofing introduced EPDs for asphalt shingle product lines Duration Series Shingles, Oakridge Shingles and Supreme Three-Tab Shingles.

An EPD tells the story of a product in a single report, focusing on information about a product’s impact on areas such as global warming, ozone depletion, water pollution, ozone creation and greenhouse gas emissions. The report provides a better understanding of a product’s sustainable qualities.

This announcement is part of Owens Corning’s broader sustainability initiatives and drive to become a net-positive impact company. Specifically, it addresses the 2015 goal of providing life-cycle assessment information on all core product offerings. The company also offers a shingle recycling pledge for consumers looking to recycle their old roofs. The program is responsible for saving more than 2.9 million tons from landfills since its inception.

“Owens Corning’s commitment to sustainability drives us to consider the economic, social and environmental impacts of everything we do — and this includes meeting the growing demand for transparency in products,” said Gale Tedhams, director of sustainability.

The new EPDs will provide resources to help architects, builders, mechanical engineers and other design professionals meet the growing criteria of green building certifications. The roofing EPD expands upon a broader business portfolio of EPDs available on several residential insulation products, including fiberglass insulation and extruded polystyrene (XPS) foam insulation.

Transparency in roofing is a growing industry trend — contractors are increasingly asked about it in both commercial and residential projects. When hiring someone to replace your shingles, ask your roofer about recycling and sustainability. With tools like the new EPDs and others at their disposal, a contractor should be able to answer your questions about keeping the process as sustainable as possible.

Feature image courtesy of Swanson

Editor’s Note: Earth911 partners with many industries, manufacturers and organizations to support its Recycling Directory, the largest in the nation, which is provided to consumers at no cost. Owens Corning is one of these partners.

By Haley Shapley

Haley Shapley is based in Seattle, where recycling is just as cool as Macklemore, walking in the rain without an umbrella, and eating locally sourced food. She writes for a wide range of publications, covering everything from sustainability to fitness to travel. Read more of her work here.