International sustainability performance consultancy PE International has teamed up with the Timber Development Association to create environmental product declarations for Australian timber products including sawn hardwood and softwood, particleboard, medium density fibreboard, plywood and veneered boards.

The EPDs will be useful for developers and designers applying for credits in the Product Transparency and Sustainability section in the Green Building Council of Australia’s soon to be released Green Star Design & As Built rating tool and also for credits under the Materials Life Cycle Impacts section via the Innovation Challenge in current tools.

“These EPDs are an exciting step forward for the our industry as they will help demonstrate to users the strong environmental credentials of timber and allow it to be compared like-for-like with other construction products,” TDA sustainability programme manager Stephen Mitchell said.

“EPDs will also benefit timber consumers as it will be easier to get credit for using timber in projects seeking a rating under systems such as Green Star.”

Barbara Nebel, managing director of PE International for Australasia said the construction industry around the world relied on transparent, verified data to influence sustainable purchasing decisions.

“We are excited to support the Australian timber industry with the development of EPDs to disclose technical environmental information rather than greenwash,” Ms Nebel said.

The Australian timber industry is supporting development of the EPDs through Forest and Wood Products Australia. The EPDs will draw on an earlier study sponsored by FWPA, Life Cycle Inventory of Australian Forestry and Wood Products.