The U.S. Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) today announced $100 million in grants to help manufacturers track and disclose the emissions associated with the production of materials and products used in infrastructure projects. This will help private and public sector purchasers know which materials are made in the most climate-friendly way.
The EPA’s new Reducing Embodied Greenhouse Gas Emissions for Construction Materials and Products program will help businesses develop robust Environmental Product Declarations (EPDs) which disclose environmental impacts across the life of a product. Using EPDs, the government can identify and prioritize the materials with the lowest “embodied carbon”—the total carbon emissions created throughout a material’s production process
In response to the announcement, the BlueGreen Alliance released the following statement from Charlie Martin, Program Manager for Buy Clean and Procurement:
“We applaud the Biden administration for this step forward. Emissions transparency is the foundation of the federal Buy Clean initiative, which ensures that public infrastructure—from bridges to buildings—supports clean manufacturing. Through Buy Clean, we can ensure that taxpayer-funded purchases of steel, concrete, and other construction materials not only support strong infrastructure, but also good manufacturing jobs, clean air, and a livable climate. This new announcement will help small and medium businesses track their emissions so that they can benefit from public purchases under Buy Clean.
“Knowledge is power and knowing the climate emissions of construction materials can help ensure our work to strengthen roads, bridges, and buildings also supports workers, communities, and climate action.”