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Guidance for Product Category Rule Development: Process, Outcome and Next Steps
Ingwersen, W. AND V. Subramanian. Guidance for Product Category Rule Development: Process, Outcome and Next Steps. INTERNATIONAL JOURNAL OF LIFE CYCLE ASSESSMENT. Springer Berlin - Heidelberg, , Germany, 19(3):532-537, (2014).
Background The development of Product Category Rules (PCRs) is inconsistent among the program operators using ISO 14025 as the basis. Furthermore, the existence of several other product claim standards and specifications that require PCRs for making product claims, has the potential to reduce any consistency in PCRs present in the ISO 14025 domain and result in unnecessary duplication of PCRs. These inconsistencies can be attributed to the insufficient specificity provided by the standards and specifications to ensure that consistent assumptions and rules are used to support:(1) comparable claims across all products in a given product category and (2) consistency in claims across all products. Process Through discussions over the past few years, in multi-stakeholder organizations, it has become clear that more guidance on the development of PCRs is necessary. In response to this need, the Product Category Rule Guidance Development Initiative (www.pcrguidance.org) was launched as an independent multi-stakeholder effort in early 2012. The premise for the Initiative was that the Guidance would be created by a voluntary group of international stakeholders that would share ownership of the outputs. Outcome The Guidance is now published, along with supplementary materials, on the Initiative website. The guidance document specifies requirements, recommendations and options on (1) steps to be taken before PCR creation, (2) elements of a PCR, (3) review, publication, and use of PCRs, and (4) best practices with PCR development and management. Supplementary materials include a PCR template, a tabular summary of the requirements and recommendations in the Guidance, and list of program operators from around the world. Conclusion The Guidance will help reduce cost and time to develop a PCR by supporting the adaptation of an existing PCR or by building on elements from existing PCRs. It will help reduce confusion and frustration when creating PCRs that are based on one or more standards and programs, and that which are lacking in sufficient guidance. Overall, the Guidance is a robust handbook for consistency and clarity in the development of PCRs.
To provide the LCA community an overview of the Guidance for Product Category Rule Development; to describe the process to develop the document; to outline next steps planned by the Guidance for Product Category Rule Development Initiative.
Record Details:Record Type: DOCUMENT (JOURNAL/PEER REVIEWED JOURNAL)
Organization:U.S. ENVIRONMENTAL PROTECTION AGENCY
OFFICE OF RESEARCH AND DEVELOPMENT
NATIONAL RISK MANAGEMENT RESEARCH LABORATORY
SUSTAINABLE TECHNOLOGY DIVISION
SYSTEMS ANALYSIS BRANCH