What is an Environmental Product Declaration (EPD)?
Environmental Product Declarations (EPDs) are standardised technical documents that provide information about the environmental impacts of a product or a service. They follow ISO 14025 Type III Environmental Declarations and the guidelines laid down by EPD Operator and Product Category.
The calculation within and EPD is based on the ISO 14010‑44 Life Cycle Assessment standard and identify the environmental impacts of the relevant product or service. These impacts include measurements such as Global warming potential (GWP), Acidification Potential (AP), Eutrophication Potential (EP) and Ozone Depletion Potential (ODP).
EPDs are developed using the information provided by the manufacturer of the product in question and cover information about the manufacturer, the product and its environmental impacts. They are normally developed by the product manufacturer in conjunction with a specialist consultant and are subject to third party verification process. An EPD normally has a validity of 5 years.
You can create an EPD for specific product or for the average product where a range of products are of a similar format and material content.
An EPD includes:
- The results of the Life cycle Assessment (LCA) Click here to find out more about LCA’s
- A full description of a product in terms of its materials and form – this includes a ‘declared unit’ which is the basis of the declaration.
- Any assumptions used in the LCA
- The calculation / product category rules applied
It should be noted that EPDs exclude sensitive product information and therefore can be used to inform and communicate with stakeholders, free from concerns about disclosing competitive information.
Benefits of EPDs
The main aim of publishing an EPD is to provide stakeholders with accurate and verified information regarding a product’s environmental impacts. EPDs can be used externally for product marketing and internally for the improvement of product manufacturing or process efficiency. EPDs may also become an important part of supply chain information. EPDs provide:
- Transparency and Informed Decision-Making- transparent and standardized information about a product’s environmental and human health impact. Allowing consumers, businesses, and policymakers to make more informed decisions based on their environmental performance, thus helping them to make more sustainable choices.
- Competitive Advantage Using EPDs to demonstrate their commitment to sustainability and transparency , companies can gain a competitive advantage.
Regulatory Compliance & Market Access – EPDs may help compliance with certain regulations and could also assist in accessing specific markets where environmentally preferable products are required.