EPD / Optimization Summary published for Owens Corning FOAMULAR(R) NGX XPS Insulation

Knowing there has been interest from this group on the upcoming launch of the reduced embodied carbon XPS insulation from Owens Corning, I wanted to share that the EPD and accompanying optimization summary have been posted to UL SPOT today.

Overall GWP reduction = 83%.

Cheryl Smith
Owens Corning
Program Leader | Product Stewardship & Sustainability
cheryl.smith@owenscorning.com

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Cheryl - thank you for sharing this!

Curious, do you know why the rest of the environmental impact categories increased compared to the reference?

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Boris,

The details are outlined in the companion addendum.

This product is also certified for 100% wind electricity,


so the differences in grid electricity are not there in reality, but the product category rules for thermal insulation do not allow us to reflect that in the EPD main results (so not reflected in the optimization results). That leaves the bulk of any increases due to the inbound transport of the new blowing agent.

The reduced embodied carbon claim from the wind electricity is comparing the new product with grid electricity to the new product with wind electricity. If both claims were to be stacked, the total GWP reduction is 84%.

Thanks,
Cheryl

This is super exciting to see low EC option for rigid insulation! And thanks @cheryl.smith and @BorisG for diving into the details.

What is still missing in our ability to interpret LCA data is to put these impacts in context. Over 80% reduction of EC is significant in context of building insulation impacts. The increase in eutrophication will depend significantly on the precise region where the emissions take place and the relative magnitude of these emissions to begin with. I use the example of a gymnasium with one piece of sand can still be considered ‘clean’ if you increase the number of sand grains by ten times’. But it is important not to only look at EC reductions-other LCA impacts and health impacts matter too!

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