Life Cycle Assessment Tells the True Green Vinyl Siding Story
In a previous blog, Who Says Vinyl Siding Can’t Be Green, I started to discuss the move to manufacturing vinyl siding products with recycled content making it a more sustainable product. This began a quest to dispel the misconceptions about vinyl siding and the fact that vinyl is a more sustainable cladding solution than brick, stucco or even cedar.
Vinyl siding has long been viewed by some as a product assumed to not be environmentally friendly. Well, I am here to tell you that following a very long and tedious process of conducting what is called a Life Cycle Assessment (LCA) on CertainTeed’s vinyl siding products that vinyl siding is GREEN! Based on all the elements that go into the LCA such as raw materials, transportation, production, and installation vinyl siding clearly leads the way in sustainability. CertainTeed’s vinyl siding LCA has been accepted by the National Institute of Standards and Technology (NIST) through the Building for Economic and Environmental Sustainability (BEES) program which is a leader in the credentialing of LCAs.
The LCA provides full public transparency and ensures that manufactures are not engaging in green washing.
The LCA is an analytical tool used to quantify and interpret the flows to-and-from the environment over the entire life cycle of a product, process or service. It is also referred to as cradle-to-grave analysis. The goal of the LCA is to compare the full range of environmental effects assignable to products and services in order to improve processes, support policy and provide a sound basis for informed decisions.
The term ‘life cycle’ refers to the notion that a fair, holistic assessment requires the assessment of raw material production, manufacture, distribution, use and disposal including all intervening transportation steps necessary or caused by the product’s existence.
Our first step was to create LCA’s for all of our vinyl siding lines. In all cases, our vinyl siding outperforms alternative cladding products such as brick, stucco, Dryvit Outsulation and even cedar in all of the environmental impact calculations identified in the BEES methodology.
CertainTeed is committed to product stewardship and the LCA, as well as the entire process to complete the LCA because it provides us with information to continue to improve processes to reduce their environmental impact.
CertainTeed will continue the LCA process on all of our siding product lines as a firm commitment to our mission in sustainability.