Environmental Product Declaration: How to Create an Eco-Friendly Statement

An environmental product declaration, or EPD, is a document that outlines the environmental impact of a product. It can be used by companies to show their customers how eco-friendly their products are. In this blog post, we will discuss how to create an EPD for your business. We will cover everything from choosing the right software to creating an accurate and thorough statement. Let’s get started!

An environmental product declaration, or EPD, is a document that outlines the environmental impact of a product. It can be used by companies to show their customers how eco-friendly their products are. In this blog post, we will discuss how to create an EPD for your business. We will cover everything from choosing the right software to creating an accurate and thorough statement. Let’s get started!

What is an Environmental Product Declaration (EPD)?

Environmental Product Declaration, or EPD, is a standardized way of communicating the environmental performance of products. Much like a nutrition label on food, an EPD provides information on a product’s life cycle impacts including air emissions, water use, energy use, waste generation, and carbon footprint in general. EPDs are developed following a rigorous, internationally recognized process and provide a fair and transparent comparison of similar products. 

EPDs can be used to compare the key environmental impacts of different products. For example, an EPD for a car would include information on the emissions generated by the car over its lifetime. This would allow consumers to compare the environmental footprint of different cars before making a purchase. EPDs can also be used to assess the environmental impact of manufacturing processes. For example, an EPD for a steel factory would include information on the emissions generated by the factory during production. This would allow the company to identify ways to reduce its environmental footprint.

How to create an EPD?

An Environmental Product Declaration, or EPD, is a document that provides transparent and consistent information about the environmental impact of a product throughout its life cycle. EPDs are developed following the rules set out in the International Organization for Standardization’s ISO 14025 standard. EPD development involves four main steps:

1. Find the appropriate PCR (Product category rule)

The first step to creating an Environmental Product Declaration (EPD) is to find the appropriate Product Category Rule (PCR). The PCR provides guidance on how to collect and report data for a specific product category. It includes information on the life cycle stages that should be included in the EPD, as well as the data sources that can be used. Once you have found the appropriate product category rules, you can begin collecting data on the environmental impacts of your product. This data will form the basis of your EPD. By following the guidance in the product category rules, you can ensure that your EPD is accurate and complete.

2. Life cycle assessment (LCA)

Life cycle assessment (LCA) is a powerful tool for companies that want to create an Environmental Product Declaration (EPD). LCA report helps companies to understand the impacts of their products throughout their entire life cycle, from raw material extraction to disposal.

This information can be used to identify areas where the product can be improved and to communicate the product’s environmental performance to customers. To conduct a life cycle assessment, companies first need to collect data on the product’s life cycle. This data can be gathered through interviews with suppliers, company records, and field studies.

Once the data has been collected, it must be verified by an independent third party to ensure its accuracy according to the ISO standards 14040 and 14044, and product category rules. After the LCA is complete, companies will have a clear understanding of the environmental impacts of their product and can begin working on ways to improve their sustainability.

3. Compile the EPD

Now that you’ve completed the life cycle assessment to determine your product’s environmental profile, it’s time to compile the results into an Environmental Product Declaration (EPD). An EPD is a standardized report that provides quantitative data on the environmental impacts of a product or service. It can be used to communicate the sustainability attributes of your product to customers, regulators, and other stakeholders.

The first step is to decide which performance indicators (or impact categories) you want to include. The most common indicators are greenhouse gas emissions, water use, energy use, and waste generation. Once you’ve selected the indicators you want to include, you’ll need to gather specific data on each one from your life cycle assessment. This data will be used to populate the EPD template.

Once you have all of the required data, you can begin filling out the EPD template. The template includes instructions on how to complete each section, so be sure to read through it carefully.

4. Verify the EPD

The EPD verification step is important to authenticate that the information declared in the EPD is accurate and that the LCA methodology used follows the guidelines set by the International Organization for Standardization (ISO). An independent, third-party verifier will review the document and conduct an on-site visit to the company’s facilities, if necessary. This will ensure a smooth EPD verification process that will pave a way for the organization to go towards the registration process.

5. Register the EPD

The registration process for an EPD is relatively simple. First, the declarer must create an account with the International EPD System. Once the account has been created, the declarer can then register their EPD. The registration process requires the declarer to provide basic information about the product, such as the name, category, and intended use. In addition, the declarer must also upload the EPD report itself. After the registration process is complete, the EPD will be assigned a unique identifier and will be publicly available on the EPD International website.

The benefits of creating an EPD

EPDs can be used by companies to communicate the environmental performance of their products to customers, and by purchasers to compare the relative sustainability of different products. The benefits of creating an EPD are numerous as they can help to:

1. Increase customer awareness

Creating an EPD can increase customer awareness of the environmental impacts of products. This is done by providing clear and concise information about the product’s lifecycle, including its raw materials, manufacturing process, use, and disposal. In addition, EPDs can help to educate customers about the importance of responsible product stewardship. By understanding the full impacts of their choices, consumers can play a role in protecting the environment for future generations.

2. Facilitate more informed purchasing decisions

One benefit of creating an EPD is that it can help to facilitate more informed purchasing decisions. By providing accurate and up-to-date information about the environmental impact of a product, EPDs allow consumers to make more informed choices about the products they purchase. 

3. Encourage companies to design more sustainable products

Creating an EPD can encourage companies to design more sustainable products. This is because EPDs provide a clear and concise way to communicate the environmental impacts of a product. As a result, companies that design products with low environmental impacts can use EPDs to market their products as being more sustainable. In turn, this can create pressure on other companies to design more sustainable products in order to remain competitive. 

4. Enhance market transparency

One of the benefits of creating an Environmental Product Declaration (EPD) is that it can help to enhance market transparency. An EPD can help to level the playing field for companies by providing a standard format for comparing the environmental performance of similar products. As a result, EPDs can play an important role in promoting competition and innovation in the marketplace.

5. Spur innovation and the development of cleaner production processes

Creating an Environmental Product Declaration (EPD) can help to spur innovation and the development of cleaner production processes. By providing accurate and transparent information about the environmental impacts of a product, an EPD can act as a powerful incentive for companies to find ways to reduce their impact. In many cases, this will involve investing in new technologies or processes that are more efficient and environmentally friendly. As more companies embrace EPDs, it is likely that we will see a significant shift towards more sustainable manufacturing practices. This, in turn, will help to protect our environment and ensure a better future for generations to come.

6. Build consumer trust in products and companies

EPDs help to build trust between companies and consumers by demonstrating a commitment to environmental responsibility. As more and more consumers seek out products that are environmentally friendly, EPDs will become an increasingly important tool for companies looking to gain a competitive edge.

7. Contribute to a more sustainable economy

Another benefit of creating an EPD is that it can help to contribute to a more sustainable economy. By quantifying the environmental impacts of a product, businesses and consumers can make more informed decisions about what to buy and how to use products. In addition, EPDs can help businesses to identify areas where they can reduce their environmental impact and save money. As more businesses adopt sustainable practices, it will help to create a more sustainable economy overall.

Conclusion

Creating an EPD is a simple and straightforward process that can have a profound impact on the way we do business. By taking the time to create an EPD, businesses and consumers can help to create a more sustainable future for us all. EPDs can help to facilitate more informed purchasing decisions, encourage companies to design more sustainable products, enhance market transparency, spur innovation and the development of cleaner production processes, and build consumer trust in products and companies. Additionally, EPDs can help to contribute to a more sustainable economy.

FAQs

What is the international green construction code?

The International Green Construction Code (IgCC) is a comprehensive report that establishes minimum requirements for the sustainable design, construction, and operation of buildings. The code takes into account a number of factors, including environmental product declarations, life cycle assessment, and product category rules. In order to create a comprehensive report, the IgCC working group conducted an LCA study to assess the environmental footprint of the code. The study found that the code has the potential to significantly reduce the environmental impact of buildings over their lifetime. As a result, the IgCC is an important tool in helping to create a more sustainable built environment.

How viable is the International EPD system?

The International EPD® system is a verified system for environmental product declarations that is widely used throughout the construction industry. It is a global leader in providing environmental information about products and services. EPDs are developed following specific product category rules (PCRs) and verified by EPD Program Operators. EPD International AB is the largest developer of EPDs globally and manages the development of over 1,000 EPD programs. Many programs are industry-wide, such as those for concrete, steel, brick, glass, and lighting products. In order for an EPD to be valid, it must be based on a PCR that is relevant to the product category and verified by an accredited EPD Program Operator.

Does raw material extraction have environmental effects?

Yes, the extraction of raw materials can have significant environmental impacts. For example, the mining of coal and other fossil fuels can release harmful pollutants into the air and water, while the clear-cutting of forests can destroy wildlife habitats. In addition, the extraction of certain minerals can lead to soil erosion and other forms of environmental degradation. As a result, it is important to carefully consider the environmental impacts of any raw material extraction project before proceeding.

What are type iii environmental declarations?

A type iii environmental declaration is a document that provides an objective, third-party assessment of a product’s environmental impact throughout its lifecycle. Type iii declarations are voluntary, but they can be useful for demonstrating a product’s sustainability to consumers and other stakeholders. For companies, type iii environmental declaration can help to build trust and improve brand image. Moreover, they can provide valuable insights into a company’s environmental impacts and help to identify opportunities for improvement. As such, type iii environmental declarations are an important tool for any company serious about managing its environmental footprint.

Can EPD reports increase sales?

Yes, EPD reports can potentially increase sales as they provide environmental information about products that may be of interest to potential purchasers. Furthermore, EPD reports are developed through an industry-wide program that uses verified and relevant PCRs, ensuring that the environmental information contained therein is credible. Industry-wide acceptance of EPD reports also means that more and more businesses are developing them for their products, increasing the pool of potential customers who are looking for this type of information. As such, developing an EPD for your product could give you a competitive edge in terms of sales.

You may also be interested in reading How to Write a Sustainability Report

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