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SKF establishes global Product Category Rules for bearings to quantify environmental impact

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Jun 01,2023


Product Category Rules (PCR) for the bearing industry, initiated and driven by SKF, have been approved by The International EPD System. This will enable bearing purchasers to make more informed and sustainable choices, while also promoting greater transparency and accountability in the product supply chain.

Initiated by SKF and following consultation with the wider industry, the PCR enables rules, requirements, and guidelines for developing an Environmental Product Declaration (EPD) for the bearings category. It provides a standard for the full life-cycle evaluation (including carbon footprint) of bearing units, bearings and parts thereof, making a valuable contribution to the net-zero and carbon reduction of the whole industry.

PCR provide guidelines for evaluating the environmental impact of a particular product category, and the approval for bearings now allows for industry-wide Life Cycle Assessments (LCAs) to be conducted using standardized criteria. The results of these assessments can be used to create an EPD, which provides verified data about a product's environmental impact from raw material extraction to disposal, including energy usage, emissions, and resource consumption.

Magnus Rosén, Head of Sustainability at SKF, says: "We are proud to have initiated Product Category Rules for bearings based on SKF's extensive knowledge and experience in this field. This is a significant milestone for both us and the industry, as it sets a new standard for transparency. It will allow our customers to have comparable, objective and third-party verified information about a product's environmental performance throughout its lifecycle."

Gustav Sandin, PCR Manager at EPD International, says: "An available PCR is a pre-requisite for developing an EPD. We’re very happy that SKF initiated the development of this PCR and we now welcome bearing manufacturers across the world to start their EPD journeys. Together, PCRs and EPDs provide a clear and standardized way for companies to assess and communicate the environmental impact of their products and it is an important achievement in further driving transparency and change for sustainable action in the bearing industry.”

As part of initiating the PCR, SKF experts set the rules for collecting data and modelling the life cycle of bearings and parts thereof. The PCR then went through open consultation with the broader bearings industry via The International EPD System to ensure agreement and alignment, before receiving final approval. The PCR will be valid for four years and will be kept updated at regular intervals to ensure relevancy and technical specifications remain correct.

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