Vitro Architectural Glass Revolutionizes Environmental Impact with New EPDs
Vitro Architectural Glass, a leading innovator in the glass industry, has recently unveiled its latest Environmental Product Declarations (EPDs) for both flat and processed glass. These updated editions demonstrate Vitro’s ongoing commitment to reducing embodied carbon and highlight a significant improvement in carbon footprint compared to previous EPDs released in 2017.
EPDs: Unveiling the Environmental Impact
Environmental Product Declarations (EPDs) provide comprehensive data on the embodied carbon values and life-cycle impact of architectural building products. These crucial documents cover various aspects, including the extraction, transportation, and processing of raw materials, serving as essential resources for sustainability certifications such as the U.S. Green Building Council’s Leadership in Energy and Environmental Design (LEED®) Certification.
Lowering Carbon Emissions: Vitro Leads the Way
In 2017, Vitro Architectural Glass became the first North American manufacturer to publish third-party verified EPDs for flat and processed glass products. The 2019 study conducted by the National Glass Association (NGA) revealed an industry average global warming potential (GWP) of 1430 for comparable glass products. However, Vitro’s 2023 EPDs now showcase an impressive reduction in embodied carbon, with just 1350 kilograms of CO2 equivalent, marking a notable 6% improvement over the NGA industry standard.
Driving Progress: Vitro’s Sustainability Initiatives
Vitro’s achievement in lowering its GWP can be attributed to several key initiatives implemented by its production teams. These include optimizing batch material usage, enhancing furnace efficiency and design, implementing energy-efficient lighting and equipment regulation, and collaborating with suppliers to drive improvements. Notably, Vitro’s pioneering use of oxy-fuel technology at three of its U.S. plant locations has proven instrumental in reducing energy consumption by up to 20% in glass melting furnaces, effectively cutting greenhouse gas emissions in half.
Empowering Architectural Glass Production
Addressing embodied carbon in architectural glass manufacturing is a complex challenge, particularly considering that flat glass production accounts for over 75% of the GWP of double-pane insulating glass units (IGUs). Nevertheless, Vitro’s advancements provide opportunities to mitigate carbon emissions throughout the glass production process. Other processes involved in glass manufacturing, such as heat treatment, the application of low-emissivity (low-e) coatings, and the assembly of IGUs, contribute significantly less to the overall GWP of glass.
Enhancing Transparency and Accuracy
Vitro’s 2023 EPDs not only showcase lower GWP values but also demonstrate an improved methodology and data accuracy. By adopting the National Glass Association’s updated 2020 Product Category Rules (PCR), Vitro ensures a more precise calculation of embodied carbon. Furthermore, the company submitted 24 months of production data for its 2023 EPDs, double the duration covered in the previous report. These methodological advancements guarantee reliable and trustworthy results.
Validated Certifications and Rigorous Assessments
Both the flat glass EPD and the processed glass EPD have earned certification from ASTM International, conforming to the requirements of ISO 14025. Life cycle assessments (LCAs) for flat and processed glass products were meticulously conducted in accordance with ISO 14040, ISO 14044, and ISO 21930, adhering to the specific PCRs for each product type.
For more information about Vitro’s steadfast commitment to sustainability and transparency, visit www.vitroglazings.com.
Source: Vitro Architectural Glass with additional information added by Apazone