Data-Driven Buy Clean: Decarbonization and Beyond

Rebe Feraldi, Alberta Carpenter

Research output: NRELSubcontract Report


This report was compiled to provide recommendations on the availability of public background data from the U.S. Federal life cycle assessment (LCA) Data Commons to be conformant with the Association for Life Cycle Assessment (ACLCA) 2022 Product Category Rule (PCR) Open Standard to build technical tools that can assist industry in creating more comparable Type II Environmental Product Declarations (EPDs) for Federal Buy Clean and sustainability initiatives. The Federal LCA Commons is not only a public data source but also a consistently structured, self-referencing mega-repository for data developed by federal agency experts (in agency repositories) and by academia, nonprofit organizations, and industry (via the US Life Cycle Inventory Database). The Federal LCA Commons Technical Working Group is continuously improving the standardization of data documentation, formatting, and nomenclature to ensure lossless data loading and accurate data representation. This report and appendixes include the following: 1) An introduction to data-driven Buy Clean and decarbonization initiatives at the federal level; 2) The current status and associated challenges with LCA data and EPD standards and comparability; 3) Opportunities for the Federal LCA Commons to support conformance with the ACLCA 2022 PCR Open Standard and provide resources to implement the Federal Sustainability Plan, Buy Clean Program, and Inflation Reduction Act (IRA) sustainability goals and objectives. To date, the Federal LCA Commons is the result of coordinated work by National Renewable Energy Laboratory (NREL), the U.S. Department of Agriculture (USDA), the Environmental Protection Agency (EPA), the National Energy Technology Laboratory (NETL), the Argonne National Laboratory (ANL), the U.S. Army Corps of Engineers (USACE), the Federal Highway Administration (FHWA), the U.S. Forest Service (USFS), the Federal Aviation Administration (FAA), the Department of Defense (DoD) and the National Institute of Standards and Technologies (NIST). The Federal LCA Commons will continue to combine databases from the collaborating agencies while remaining a public resource. There are several initiatives among the collaborating agencies to expand the Federal LCA Commons and dedicated federal funding and resources could accelerate and strengthen these initiatives.
Original languageAmerican English
Number of pages84
StatePublished - 2023

Bibliographical note

Work performed by TranSustainable Enterprises, Socorro, New Mexico

NREL Publication Number

  • NREL/SR-6A20-84772


  • carbon emissions
  • data requirements
  • environmental production declarations
  • life cycle assessment
  • product category rules


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