The FYI on EPDs: Why Environmental Product Declarations Matter

Specifying Glass,
Environment & Ecology

Green building certification programs and sustainable design practices have become mainstream. Today’s architects and their clients demand not only greater transparency but also easily accessible resources to help them design more sustainable buildings and meet sustainable design benchmarks such as those outlined by the LEED® v4 rating system.

As a result, Environmental Product Declarations (EPDs) have become valuable assets to architects and designers.

In 2017, Vitro was the first North American manufacturer to publish third-party verified Environmental Product Declarations (EPDs) for flat glass and processed glass products. In 2024, Vitro issued updated EPDs for flat and processed glass that indicate Vitro Architectural Glass products contain just 1,240 kilograms of CO2 equivalent, which is 13% lower than the National Glass Association’s industry standard and an improvement on figures reported in 2017 and 2023.

Now, with the help of EPDs, design professionals have access to documentation that makes it easier than ever to confirm the sustainability of North American processed glass products—and thus, earn LEED® credits for projects.

What Are EPDs?

EPDs are voluntary and transparent reports made by companies regarding the life-cycle impacts of their products on the environment. Reporting and documentation for product-specific EPDs address energy use and emissions associated with a product’s manufacture and packaging, as well as the extraction, transportation and processing of related raw materials.

Why You Need Them

EPDs can help building projects earn up to two LEED® v4 Materials and Resources credits under the category “Building Product Disclosure and Optimization.” (For more information on utilizing Vitro Glass products to earn LEED® credits, visit the Vitro Glass Guide to LEED®.)

Vitro Glass also provides a pathway to LEED credit through the Cradle to Cradle Certified® (C2C) Products Program under the same category. In 2008, Vitro Architectural Glass (known then as PPG Glass) became the first U.S. glass company to have its entire range of products Cradle to Cradle Certified® and, today, continues to offer one of the largest collections of architectural glass brands qualified to this rigorous, globally recognized lifecycle standard.

Which Products Are Covered?

The product-specific flat glass EPD is valid for all annealed and untreated glass products manufactured by Vitro Glass. The product-specific processed glass EPD is valid for Vitro Glass products that undergo secondary treatment, such as the addition of magnetron sputtered vapor deposition (MSVD) coatings, heat-strengthening or fabrication into multi-pane insulating glass units (IGUs).

Flat Glass Products

  • Clear glass
  • Starphire® low-iron glass
  • Acuity® glass
  • Solarphire® glass
  • Atlantica® glass (tinted)
  • Azuria® glass (tinted)
  • Graylite® II glass (tinted)
  • Optiblue® glass (tinted)
  • Optigray® glass (tinted)
  • Pacifica® glass (tinted)
  • Solarblue® glass (tinted)
  • Solarbronze® glass (tinted)
  • Solargray® glass (tinted)
  • Solexia® glass (tinted)

Processed Glass Products

  • Clear glass
  • Solarban® 60 solar control low-e glass
  • Solarban® R67 (formerly Solarban® 67) solar control low-e glass
  • Solarban® 70 solar control low-e glass
  • Solarban® 72 solar control low-e glass
  • Solarban® 90 solar control low-e glass
  • Solarban® 60 Optiblue® (formerly Solarban® z50) solar control low-e glass
  • Solarban® 70 Optiblue® (formerly Solarban® z75) solar control low-e glass
  • Solarban® R100 solar control low-e glass
  • Sungate® 400 passive low-e glass
  • Sungate® 460 passive low-e glass
  • Vistacool® subtly reflective tinted glasses
  • Solarcool® reflective tinted glasses
  • Clarvista® shower glass
  • Herculite® tempered glass

In addition, both EPDs published by Vitro Glass are certified by ASTM International as conforming to the requirements of ISO 14025. Life cycle assessments (LCAs) for flat glass and processed glass products were performed according to ISO 14040, ISO 14044 and EN 15804 following the product category rules (PCRs) for each product type.

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