UPM's WISA spruce plywoods act as carbon sinks throughout their lifetime and their life cycle contribution to fossil CO2 emissions is very low. The climate benefits of the products are reflected in the updated Environmental Product Declarations (EPDs), which include calculations according to the new standard, new products and additions requested by customers.
UPM Plywood has published updated EPDs for WISA plywood, covering both coated and uncoated plywood. An Environmental Product Declaration (EPD) is a voluntary, standardised and reliable way of publishing life cycle assessment information. Third-party verified and internationally comparable, the EPDs calculate the environmental impact of WISA plywood throughout its life cycle.
"With the increasing use of timber construction, we want to provide up-to-date and unbiased information on our products. EPDs allow contractors, builders and designers to reliably compare the environmental impact of different products or manufacturers," Sanna Kontinen, Environmental Manager at UPM Plywood, says.
The life cycle assessment for WISA plywood covers the product phase (modules A1-A3), the construction phase (A4-A5), the use phase (B), the end-of-life (EoL) phase (C1-C4) and the reuse, recycling and recovery potential (D). The environmental impact of the acquisition, manufacture and transport of raw materials for products, as well as during the construction, use, dismantling and disposal of demolition waste from buildings, has thus been taken into account.
The updated EPDs indicate the carbon sequestration capacity of WISA spruce plywood throughout its life cycle. The carbon dioxide stored in the wood raw material as the trees grow remains stored in the products until they are disposed of.
"Fossil carbon dioxide emissions over the life cycle of WISA plywood are very low. Furthermore, renewable wood raw material from sustainably managed forests does not cause climate impacts due to land use change or a reduction in carbon sinks. When the product is disposed of, the organic carbon stored in it is released into the atmosphere," says Kontinen.
In addition to climate impacts, the report also shows the results of the WISA plywood life cycle assessment for other impact categories, such as ozone depletion, acidification of soil and water bodies, eutrophication of water bodies, depletion of non-renewable energy resources and mineral flows.
The updated EPDs include the latest standards and products
UPM Plywood published EPDs for WISA plywood for the first time in 2019. The recently updated WISA plywood EPDs have been prepared in accordance with the old and revised versions of the standard (EN 15804) governing EPDs for construction products. At the request of customers, they also include information on the potential ecotoxicological impacts of the products. They have been prepared by LCA Consulting and verified by Ramboll.
"The EDSs are based on 2020 data, so the latest additions to the WISA Spruce product family, such as fire retardant WISA SpruceFR, water repellent WISA SpruceWR, wood preservative treated WISA SpruceBT and birch-coated spruce plywood WISA Twin, have been included," Kontinen says.
Text by Janne Suokas