2022 ACLCA PCR Guidance

Creating Standardized, Consistent, and Reliable PCRs & EPDs for Transparency, Procurement, and Supply Chain Data

Process and Methods Toolkit

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With the increasing demand for using ISO Type III environmental declarations (EPDs) to communicate the potential environmental impacts of products and processes, EPDs are also being used to inform design and procurement decisions (The White House 2021, Buy Clean California 2021, Buy Clean Colorado 2021).

This presents the critical need to create EPDs that are ISO standards-conformant, consistent with life cycle assessment (LCA) best practices and that enable digital communication with construction, accounting, and other reporting tools.

To that end, there is an urgency to create technical frameworks that support industry wide protocols for developing high quality product category rules (PCRs). Assuring the quality of PCRs will ensure that EPD results can reliably inform decision-making.

Published in 2013, the American Center for Life Cycle Assessment (ACLCA) PCR Guidance Development document (Ingwersen and Subramanian, 2013) has been the leading reference for program operators’ PCR development process in North America.

This 2022 version reflects the progress in the use of EPDs and program operators’ experience over the past 9 years. The work to develop this update has been in process since 2018 including outcome of many stakeholder workshops and formal reviews including the ACLCA PCR committee reviews in 2020-21, and a formal public review in 2022.


Methods & Methodology Addenda

Following is the list of currently identified topics. Working groups have been created to complete these  and others as future requirements are identified.


Allocating Burdens and Benefits of Materials Shared Across Product Systems Download >

Assessing Data Quality of Background Life Cycle Inventory Datasets Download >

In development

  • Industry-wide EPD Benchmarking
  • Circular Scenarios (Module D)
  • Biogenic Carbon Accounting
  • Renewable Energy Accounting
  • EPD Comparability and Digital EPDs / Open EPD
  • EPD Comparability Disclaimer Text
  • Buy Clean Legislation
  • Types of EPDs

Interested in participating in an addendum working group or suggesting a topic? 

Contact ACLCA PCR Committee Co-chairs:

Mandy Montazeri, TrueNorth Collective, mandy.montazeri@truenorthcollective.net

Hao Cai, Argonne National Lab, hcai@anl.gov

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2013 ACLCA PCR Guidance