Using life cycle thinking to analyze environmental labeling : the case of appearance wood products

Authors: Cobut, AlineBeauregard, RobertBlanchet, Pierre
Abstract: Purpose: Growing public concern about the current state of our planet led to the creation of numerous regulations, standards, and certifications for the protection of humans and the environment. Ecolabels were defined for products such as cleaning products, paints, and many others. Wood building products are no exception. The objective of this study is to analyze the existing ecolabelling programs for appearance wood products in nonresidential applications and to evaluate them relatively to their effective role in environment protection or reduction of environment footprint. Methods: The research was conducted on the most common International Organization for Standardization (ISO) type I ecolabels in North America, the European Union, and Japan. Certification schemes applicable to appearance wood products for nonresidential applications were considered. In a life cycle assessment perspective, certification criteria were compared regarding their ability to consider and integrate environment impacts. Results and discussion: A wide range of ecolabels can apply to appearance wood products, from indoor air quality to wood from sustainable forest management. Moreover, it has been found that among all certification schemes studied, those integrating the whole life cycle were the most relevant. Conclusions: The remaining limitation of ISO type I ecolabels is the lack of environmental information enabling the differentiation between products bearing the same ecolabel. This can be overcome by ISO type III environmental product declarations. Thus, allowing a better understanding of the implications related with the use of wood products compared to other materials in the nonresidential building sector.
Document Type: Article de recherche
Issue Date: 25 September 2012
Open Access Date: Restricted access
Document version: VoR
This document was published in: The International Journal of Life Cycle Assessment, Vol. 18 (3), 722–742 (2013)
Alternative version: 10.1007/s11367-012-0505-9
Collection:Articles publiés dans des revues avec comité de lecture

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