Environmental Product Declarations (EPD) Consulting Service
An Environmental Product Declaration (EPD) is a verified (and registered) document that communicates transparent and comparable information about the life cycle environmental performance of your products.
Environmental Product Declaration and Life Cycle Assessment
An EPD is the particular type of Life Cycle Assessment (LCA), that has been developed to provide environmental information from LCA studies in a common format, based on common rules, known as Product Category Rules (PCR).
EPDs have been used for construction products since the first environmental assessment schemes were developed in the 1990s and an ISO standard for EPD, ISO 14025:2006 sets out the International Standards they should meet.
Construction Product EPD
The European Standard, EN 15804+A1:2013 provides more detailed Core Product Category Rules for EPD that construction products need to follow. Construction Product EPD are published by a Programme Operator such as the International EPD scheme, the Australasian EPD scheme, BRE Global, EPD Norge, UL Environment or IBU using EN 15804 compliant PCR. EPD compliant with EN 15804 can therefore be used alongside each other to make comparisons and evaluations at a building level.
thinkstep have experience of producing construction product EPD with all these EPD Programme Operators.
Compliant Environmental Product Declarations
For compliant EPD, an independent verifier must be used to critically review the LCA and ensure it has followed the PCR. The verifier will see a full LCA report, known as the Background Report and the EPD, to undertake this task, but only the EPD needs to be published, so the detailed and often confidential data provided in the Background Report need not be publicly disclosed.
Modular Environmental Product Declarations
Construction product EPD are normally modular, so that an EPD for cement can be used with an EPD for Aggregate to produce an EPD for concrete. The construction products industry was actively involved in the development of the International and European Standards for LCA and EPD.
Our EPD Services worldwide
We support you to prepare an EPD for your products according to standards such as EN 15804 and ISO 14025 standards, and have experienced teams delivering construction product and electronics EPDs in Central Europe, the Nordics, the UK, North America and Australasia for a wide range of EPD programmes.
In order to do this we offer:
✔ A standard EPD Consultancy which includes: data collection, LCA modelling, creation of background report and EPD, guidance through the verification process, and final meeting with detailed LCA interpretation and guidance for marketing.
✔ Industry average EPDs and representative EPDs (mainly for associations or their members).
✔ EPD Vario – A system that enables you to generate your EPDs in-house. We provide software, background data, training, support and an initial implementation project.
✔ Solutions for automated generation of EPDs for product ranges or portfolios, connected to your ERP system.
Enhance your brand reputation
Provide credibility through production of a 3rd-party verified document that can be used to market the sustainability attributes of your product to your customers.
Compare with competitors
A verified measurement of your product’s environmental credentials can be used to benchmark your product against those of your competitors.
Enable you to identify opportunities to optimize your manufacturing process.
The use and importance of EPDs in the validation and certification of life cycle-based...
Construction Product Manufacturers | Product Designers
The process of obtaining an EPD can give a manufacturer a good understanding of the causes and types of impact associated with their product and where in the product supply chain their major life cycle impact hotspots occur. This provides a strong basis for improving the design of the product to reduce the life cycle impacts and optimize environmental performance in the building; this is often referred to as ecodesign.
Construction Product Manufacturers | Marketing
EPD enable manufacturers to communicate credible product and company environmental performance in a transparent way and enable manufacturers to substantiate marketing claims and comparisons against similar products. EPD can also be used to show how the impact of a product has been reduced over time.
Construction Product Manufacturers | Supply Chain
EPD normally use generic data for the input materials, energy and waste processing associated with the manufacture of construction products. However the supply chain can also collect and provide specific data for these processes which can be used to more accurately represent the impact of products. EPD verification can cover the specific information provided by the supply chain as well as the product manufacturer to ensure the robustness of this approach.
EPD can be used as source information in the procurement and purchase of products. They provide buyers with the confidence of knowing that the environmental performance of a specific product has been reviewed and validated by an independent party with expertise in LCA. Having EPD does not mean that a product has lower environmental impact than others, but provides the information to evaluate products.
Specifiers can include information provided in EPD in their performance specifications to ensure that products used in the building meet the required environmental performance.
An EPD enables consistent and robust comparisons to be made between products at the building level. It allows end users to make informed choices using a standardised, comprehensive and verified set of information.
Many client bodies wish to calculate the embodied carbon of their developments and information included in an EPD can help them to do this. Along with other environmental indicators, EPD provide verified credible embodied carbon or greenhouse gas data f or construction products (the carbon footprint) which is information about the product’s impact on climate change and can be used in building level embodied carbon assessments. This means the EPD provides the greenhouse gas emissions or embodied carbon associated with that construction product. EPD can also include data on recycled content for example.
Planning and Regulation
In the UK, Brighton & Hove City Council is the first council in the UK to require an embodied carbon assessment of developments as part of its planning permission process.