Why EPD verification transparency matters
and how a Verification Statement helps
What does ISO 14025 actually require from EPDs?
ISO 14025 sets the following criteria for verification and the verifier:
- “Verifier: person or body that carries out verification” – chapter 3.8.
- “Independent verification of data from LCA, LCI and information modules” – chapter 8.1.3.
- “Independent verifiers… shall not have conflicts of interests resulting from their position in the organization.” – chapter 8.2.1.
Detecting EPDs that are being passed off as independently verified EPDs, yet are not, can be very hard. Such EPDs are published in large quantities by some program operators and manufacturers, for example. This is not without risk; it has led to EPDs being published where the product’s Global Warming Potential (GWP) is off by a factor of one million, as the example below shows. While verification does not guarantee the full accuracy of results, it clearly improves quality. For more details on data quality and types of EPD verifications, read How we work with data.
Verification Statement introduced in
new EPDs created with One Click LCA
We are introducing also the share of supply-chain specific data for the GWP-fossil for A1-A3 as part of the Verification Statement. This provides more transparency on the specificity of upstream data.
How can third-party verification be made affordable?
Does every EPD really have to be independently verified by a qualified person or body?
For EPDs claiming compliance with ISO 14025, the answer is yes.
However, the ISO standards family also includes ISO 14021 Environmental labels and declarations. Self-declared environmental claims (Type II environmental labelling), which is intended for making claims that are not verified. Such documents fit many purposes and needs, and have benefits in terms of time and money.
A further option is available with One Click LCA and partner EPD programs: project EPDs. These EPDs are variants of a published third-party verified EPD, for example for a specific delivery or bidding purposes. Such EPDs are not published, but benefit from the same compliance as third-party verified EPDs. EPDs deviating from the original EPD by a margin higher than the acceptable tolerance would not be eligible as project EPDs, but would require verification.
To discuss this matter further, contact our EPD experts at firstname.lastname@example.org.