U.S. and global policymakers are increasingly focused on decarbonization efforts to address climate change. In response, trade associations representing the major U.S. insulation industry organizations recently released a statement of policy principles on building decarbonization. The principles advocate maximizing energy efficiency in buildings and pursuing whole-building embodied carbon reductions in building materials and components.
Widespread Industry Support
The coalition of insulation industry groups adopting the policy principles included NAIMA, The American Chemistry Council, Polyisocyanurate Insulation Manufacturers Association, National Insulation Association, EPS Industry Alliance, Extruded Polystyrene Foam Association, Spray Foam Manufacturers Association, Structural Insulated Panels Association, and Insulation Contractors Association of America.
The joint statement issued by the groups reads in part:
“Energy conservation is the core value proposition of building insulation. Our industry delivers a product that cost-effectively optimizes the thermal performance of buildings with insulation materials that are safe to use and promote a cleaner environment. Over the past twenty years, insulation manufacturers have innovated products that are safer for the ozone with lower global warming potential. Many types of insulation contain recycled ingredients. Finally, the insulation industry is a leader in promoting material transparency, with environmental product declarations available for the full range of insulation products in the building construction market.”
The statement notes that maximizing energy efficiency should be the primary goal when integrating building decarbonization goals into energy codes and standards. Federal building performance standards can also be used to rapidly decarbonize the federal government’s building portfolio. The statement also notes that policies such as the Buy Clean California policy requirements may be adopted to establish whole-building embodied carbon targets.
Why It Matters
Addressing global climate change will require substantial effort to cut carbon emissions. Buildings are the largest single source of carbon dioxide emissions, accounting for roughly 40 percent of global emissions. This statement makes clear the importance of cutting emissions through a two-part strategy of reducing energy use in buildings and pursuing whole-building reductions in the embodied energy of building materials and components.
To read the full industry statement on building decarbonization policy principles, click here.