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So which Products have Product Category Rules (PCRs) already?

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Many people have asked about a list of all the Product Category Rules (PCR) that exist today. PCRs are the rules needed to produce an EPD, which is fair and comparable.

CFP from Japan has produced a list to all the PCRs for different products from notebook computers to rapeseed oil.

http://www.cfp-japan.jp/english/gpl/product_category/all-lists/

If your company buys any of those products, you can support full environmental product transparency by asking your supplier or manufacturer to produce an EPD.

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Scots greenhouse gas emissions, down by 21% since 1990

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According to the BBC, the emissions in Scotland are down by 21% since 1990. That’s good news we must first say. But I would also look at it with some scepticism. I’d like to know what would be the effect of outsourcing the manufacturing goods to developing countries, for example, since for physical products most of the carbon emissions are embodied in the raw materials.

http://www.bbc.co.uk/news/uk-scotland-11216118

How do wind turbine investors and developers measure the potential of a site?

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It’s all about the facts. Overestimate just one parameter, like how the wind changes with height, and the investment in a wind turbine can all go wrong.

How do they it?  There is now a new technology from Scottish company Sgurr which uses pulsed laser technology for wind speed and direction measurement.  This steerable beam can reach 4km! For those who have studied physics you might remember the Doppler effect? Well, this machine measures the Doppler shift of the light back scatter by particles carried by the wind, therefore obtaining their speed. This means it can calculate wind speed, direction, flow inclination, turbulence, shear & veer. Amazing stuff, and all very useful if you are just about to invest in the development of a very expensive wind turbine and want to make sure that you get the right position!

Read more about the Sgurr Galion Lidar here.

This type of engineering-led innovation, based on providing better facts to make decisions, can according to the company increase the internal rate of return of a wind project by around one percent.

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New Ecoindex launch from Outdoor Industry

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In a great new approach from the outdoor industry, they have created an ecoindex based on LCA (Life Cycle Analysis), in which they assess products according to their different life cycle stages. http://www.ecoindexbeta.org

 Why do I like it?

  • It’s LCA based
  • It takes into account several impacts (not only carbon)
  • It’s being developed on the basis of transparency as open-source

What would be great in the future?

  • To develop a Product Category Rule (PCR) for the sector
  • Different manufacturers to publish the EPDs of their products

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Forget about lightbulbs, watch your washing machine and dryer instead!

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There is a great article in the Economist at the moment about how people underestimate their energy consumption. They point out that people give too much emphasis to light bulbs and tweaking thermostats but forget large energy consuming devices such as heaters and dryers.

What is their suggestion to combat that? More of ‘Just the facts’: increased information and making energy consumption clearer.

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Death to the case study with partial information

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How frustrating (and pointless) it is to read case studies which only have partial information, even though that’s mainly what case studies and articles should be about. ‘The innovative product with low toxicity’ (what about carbon?), ‘the building with zero carbon’ (what about embodied carbon and how do they define zero carbon?), ‘the 100% recycled material’ (downcycled, post consumer or post industrial?).

Yes, unfortunately that’s what many marketers, communicators and journalists love these days. The news, the gimmick, a story. But quick wins in one area often have the wrong impact in other areas.

Cereal advertisement

I am not in favour of rules but I think it should be standard in case studies, advertisements and articles to add a link to the full story: the whole life cycle impact of a product. In a way this has happened with car ads, where they have to disclose the CO2/km. One easy way of promoting full product transparency is to include a link to the environmental product declaration (EPD).

I am not suggesting that every ad, article or case study should have a link to the EPD of the product, however those ones that are talking about how green the products are should have to justify their claims. This approach may get rid of some of the Greenwash we have thrown at us these days too!

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