Vitro Architectural Glass has updated several of its Environmental Product Declarations (EPDs) for flat and processed glass. Officials state the updates reaffirm that Vitro’s glass products contain less embodied carbon than the industry standard for architectural glass products. They also indicate a lower embodied carbon value than previously reported in the company’s 2017 EPDs.
Vitro’s 2023 EPDs specify that its products contain just 1,350 kilograms of carbon dioxide equivalent, an improvement over company figures reported in 2017. Several key steps drove Vitro’s lower global warming potential (GWP). These include more efficient use of batch material, implementing furnace efficiency and design improvements, installing energy-efficient lighting and regulating equipment and driving supplier improvements.
“EPDs have become extremely valuable as green building certifications and sustainable design have become more mainstream and architects demand greater transparency in their product selections,” says Mike Hammond, technical support manager. “We’re pleased to be able to offer EPDs for our glass products that attest to Vitro’s lower embodied carbon values, especially with this latest update.”
Officials say the updates create opportunities to reduce embodied carbon in architectural glass production, which is otherwise challenging to accomplish because flat glass manufacturing itself makes up more than 75% of the GWP of double-pane insulating glass units (IGUs). Other processes, such as heat treatment, the application of low-E coatings or even the assembly of the IGU itself, contribute significantly less to the GWP of glass.
EPDs offer detailed data about the embodied carbon values and life-cycle impact on the environment of a wide range of architectural building products, including information about the extraction, transportation and processing of related raw materials. They can be used as credentialing documentation for sustainability certifications, such as the U.S. Green Building Council’s Leadership in Energy and Environmental Design Certification.