A simple guide toEnvironmental Product Declarations
What they are, why you need them and how to create them.
An introduction to EPDs
An Environmental Product Declaration, or EPD, is a document which transparently communicates the environmental performance or impact of any product or material over its lifetime.
Within the construction industry, EPDs support carbon emission reduction by making it possible to compare the impacts of different materials and products in order to select the most sustainable option.
- Architects, engineers and designers are able to choose the most sustainable option for their project.
- Manufacturers are able to optimise the impact of their products and market their carbon transparency.
An EPD is usually valid for five years, and is generated according to the relevant standards. Construction EPDs are based on the ISO 14040/14044, ISO 14025, EN 15804 or ISO 21930 standards.
Benefits of creating or using EPDs
EPDs in construction projects and manufacturing are voluntary. However, their use is rapidly growing in line with awareness about environmental impacts. Both public and private stakeholders are increasingly demanding EPDs. There are a number of benefits to creating or using EPDs including:
- Market differentiation: using or creating EPDs will help you to differentiate your product or your project.
- Regulation and legal requirements: all public procurement bodies in the EU and EEA are required to use EPDs to assess the environmental footprint of products and Belgium requires the use of EPDs if a company is performing any environmental-related marketing.
- Credits and certification: LCA credits are very cost-efficient and easy compared to other credits’ requirements for your building’s certifications and EPDs are also recognized by LEED and BREEAM, among other market-based systems.
How to create an EPD
- Choose Product Category Rules: PCRs define the requirements for EPDs for a particular product category and ensure that different EPDs within that category can be compared.
- Collect data: including raw material, resource consumption and waste data for your product.
- Conduct a life-cycle assessment: the LCA will need to conform to the PCR.
- Prepare background report for EPD: all findings from the LCA need to be compiled in an EPD format.
- Verify and publish: manufacturers can submit EPDs according to the relevant platform for your region. If you use the OCLCA Pre-verified solution, we will handle this process for you.
The One Click LCA Pre-verified EPD Generator is an automated and affordable tool to develop robust Environmental Product Declarations, complying with ISO 14040, ISO 14044, EN 15804+A1+A2 and ISO 21930 and ISO 14025.
The One Click LCA Flexible EPD Tool helps experienced professionals create EPDs and LCAs for any product categories, including categories that do not have their own Product Category Rules, with complete control over Program Operator, and third-party verifier.