XPSA Supports Montreal Protocol Amendment Accelerating HFC Phase-Out

The Extruded Polystyrene Foam Association (XPSA) , whose members include the major extruded polystyrene foam (XPS) insulation manufacturers in North America, has announced its support for the Montreal Protocol amendment hastening the global phase-down of hydrofluorocarbons (HFCs) to protect the stratospheric ozone and mitigate the effects of climate change.
 
XPSA has expressed support for both the Montreal Protocol and the Environmental Protection Agency’s (EPA’s) Significant New Alternatives Policy (SNAP) Program, under which XPS manufacturers are transitioning out of using HFC-134a. XPS manufacturers have met or exceeded the timelines set forth and will continue to do so based on science and environmental stewardship. XPSA’s members are committed to eliminating HFCs from their products by the EPA SNAP deadline of January 1, 2021.
 
“The phase-out of HFCs will be a milestone within the XPS industry’s stewardship and sustainability objectives and a progression of our ongoing search for technology improvements to better serve our customers and protect our environment,” said John Ferraro, executive director of XPSA.
 
Replacing HFC-134a requires a reconsideration of the entire chemical makeup of XPS insulation products. The EPA understands that XPS manufacturers need time to identify alternatives to HFC-134a; assess and address risks of alternative components; analyze capabilities and make modifications to equipment, facilities, manufacturing processes, and worker safety and training programs; work with suppliers on equipment and component needs; build and engage in pilot- and plant-scale trials; obtain permits, approvals, and financing; and address commercialization issues such as ensuring production capacity to meet global market demand.
 
XPS’s properties heighten a structure’s energy efficiency, which both the U.S. Department of Energy (DOE) and EPA acknowledge to be one of the greenhouse gas (GHG) emissions reduction strategies. In fact, ASHREA and XPS industry estimates indicate that homes using XPS insulation sheathing save enough energy in the first year to heat over 500,000 homes in the U.S. XPS reduces GHG emissions by lowering the energy consumption of a structure, which diminishes the amount of energy spent in the distribution of energy, the delivery of which requires 3.34 units of energy to send 1 unit to a building for user consumption. Environmental Product Declaration (EPD) data shows that the reduced energy consumption due to XPS foam pays back the embedded CO2 multiple times over the life of a building.

Insulation Products from Dow Building Solutions Receive Validation from UL Environment

Dow Building Solutions (DBS), a business unit of The Dow Chemical Co., announced STYROFOAM extruded polystyrene foam insulation products in North America have received validation from UL Environment that they contain 20 percent pre-consumer recycled content on average. This verification marks the latest sustainability milestone for Dow insulation products, which also hold Cradle-to-Cradle certification.

“UL Environment is proud to have worked with Dow Building Solutions to validate the recycled content claims for its STYROFOAM Insulation Products,” says Lisa Meier, vice president and general manager of UL Environment. “Dow’s pursuit of third-party substantiation demonstrates its commitment to scientifically backed, credible communication about this sustainability attribute.”

For more than 70 years, DBS has been recognized in the building industry, delivering energy-efficient solutions that conserve energy and reduce greenhouse gas emissions, including Dow’s flagship STYROFOAM brand. The UL Environment validation underscores the company’s drive to constantly improve, innovate and perfect building envelope science to deliver more sustainable, safer solutions and ultimately help advance a more sustainable planet and society as part of Dow’s 2025 Sustainability Goals.

“This certification is just one more example of DBS’ ongoing commitment to deliver solutions that meet and exceed market demands today and in the future,” says Matthew Marchel, business director, Dow Building Solutions. “This UL Environment validation is one more step in our sustainability journey, one that is deep-rooted, spans decades and is based on our legacy of innovation, leadership and action.”