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BioPreferred Label

BioPreferred Label Open to Wood Products

BioPreferred LabelThe US Department of Agriculture’s BioPreferred program, which designates biobased product categories for preferred federal procurement, has opened to wood product as of yesterday.

This means wood products manufacturers can now apply for a BioPreferred label by demonstrating that they utilize any of a number of recognized “innovative approaches” during the life cycle of their product. One of the possible innovative criteria applicants can meet is through environmental product declarations (EPDs).

The wood products industry has produced EPDs for all major product lines and took the process one step further by ensuring each EPD was third-party verified, according to the American Wood Council, which applauded the move making wood products eligible to be recognized in USDA biobased programs.

The USDA launched the voluntary labeling program for biobased industrial and commercial products in 2011, but stopped processing applications in January 2013 due to a lack of funding.

It reopened its BioPreferred certification program to applications in July 2013. Companies can apply for the voluntary label via a web portal. The website also includes a map that shows the locations of more than 3,000 companies in the US that either manufacture or distribute biobased products.

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