Environmental Product Declaration (EPD)

What is an EPD?

Adapted from EPD International

An Environmental Product Declaration (EPD) is an independently verified and registered document that communicates transparent and comparable information about the life-cycle environmental impact of products in a credible way.

Where the EPD is the final report, the foundation of any EPD is a lifecycle assessment (LCA). This LCA allows you to evaluate your product’s environmental performance over its entire life-cycle. It typically takes into consideration your full value chain, from material extraction through to manufactured product, its usage stage and end of life.

In physical terms, an EPD consists of two key documents:

  • EPD background project report, a systematic and comprehensive summary of the LCA project to support the third-party verifier when verifying the EPD.
    This report is not part of the public communication.

  • Public EPD document that provides the results.

Why choose products with EPDs?

Adapted from EPD International

The overall goal of an EPD is to provide relevant and verified information to meet the various communication needs.

An important aspect of EPD is to provide the basis of a fair comparison of products and services by their environmental performance. EPDs can reflect the continuous environmental improvement of products and services over time and can communicate and add up relevant environmental information along a product's supply chain.

The interest for environmental declarations in building rating systems and certification schemes has also increased in the last few years, as they may demonstrate knowledge of the life cycle environmental impact of the ingoing construction materials.

In a recent study by OneClick LCA on embodied carbon, the authors conclude that "of the schemes directly addressing embodied carbon, 89% required use of EPDs."

They also pointed out the different roles an EPD plays in the various building schemes:

  • Documentation of use/purchase of products with an EPD in a project

  • Use in LCAs to enable building level LCAs

  • Compare and buy low-carbon products for a project

Your journey into EPD products starts here

At Green Materials Trading, products have Environmental Product Declaration documents ready for your perusal. EPDs can help you analyse your building's Life Cycle when trying to address the topic of embodied carbon in buildings by public and private sectors. With the EPDs, you have product-specific environmental performance data that can be used when conducting the whole building LCA.

By using EPDs, green procurement is improved by leaps and bounds. There are three main methods on how to use EPDs in procurement. Please note that this information is provided as examples and that no liability is taken for the correctness of the information for specific cases or markets:

  • To get information on the environmental impact of the goods and serviced being procured can be seen as the first step in greening the procurement activities. Knowledge about the impact of the subject matter is vital in order to be able to put down relevant procurement criteria in the tendering documents. EPDs can therefore give very useful input to procurement, either in the market analysis or as a first step in greening procurement standards.

  • As the EPDs contain information on the products' environmental impact from a life cycle perspective, the EPD can be used to verify compliance provided that the environmental requirements put in the tendering documents are information that can be found in an EPD.

  • Information in EPDs within the same product group and based on the same Product Category Rules can also be used to compare products from an environmental point of view and also to reward the environmentally best product. This must be done according to what is allowed in the legislation and the reward criteria must be transparent and non-discriminatory.