Learn more about environmental declarations
What are Environmental Product Declarations (EPDs)? What is the process of creating an EPD and how can it help you persuade customers to choose your product?
What are environmental declarations (EPD)?
Product environmental declarations for building materials describe various aspects, such as greenhouse gas emissions during production, energy consumption, water consumption, emissions to air and water, use of natural resources, and waste.
In environmental product declarations for building materials, this information is provided in a standardized way, in accordance with the international standard ISO 14025 and EN 15804. . As a result, declarations are easy to compare and allow for an assessment of the impact of different products on the environment.
A verified environmental declaration remains valid for five years. Based on publicly available EPDs, any interested architect, designer, engineer, investor, facility manager or auditor can review the ecological balance indicators and the impact of products on the environment.
Product Life Cycle Assessment (LCA)
Life Cycle Assessment (LCA) is a tool that allows for assessing the environmental impact of a product. One of the aspects taken into account in LCA is the CO2 emissions, as this gas is one of the main factors influencing climate change.
In LCA, CO2 emissions are often measured in the so-called "carbon footprint." This is a measure of the total amount of CO2 emissions (or CO2 equivalents) produced during the life cycle of a product. The life cycle can be defined in specific stages:
From cradle to gate
The analysis covers the processes of raw material extraction and transportation, as well as the production of the product until it is delivered to the customer.
From cradle to grave
The analysis takes into account materials and energy in the production chain, as well as all processes such as transport and assembly until the product is disposed of.
What is the life cycle of a product made of (LCA)
1Extraction of natural resources
CO2 emissions can be generated during the extraction and transport of natural resources needed to produce a given product.
At this stage, the impact of production processes on greenhouse gas emissions should be evaluated.
The third stage of the product life cycle. It assesses the impact of transportation and installation of products on greenhouse gas emissions.
At this stage, the impact of product use on CO2 emissions is evaluated.
The impact of the method of disposal of waste generated during production and use of the product is evaluated, including greenhouse gas emissions and other pollutants.
Type III Declarations
Requirements for Environmental Product Declarations (EPDs)
Environmental Product Declarations (EPDs), also known as Type III declarations, have specific requirements that must be met in order for them to be recognized as official and reliable. Below are some basic requirements for EPDs:
Functional criteriaThe EPD must precisely describe the functions and applications of the product being declared, in order to accurately compare its environmental impact with other products with similar uses.
Full product life cycleThe EPD must cover the entire life cycle of the product, from raw material extraction, through production, transport, use, and disposal or recycling.
Calculation standardsThe EPD must be based on standard calculation methods that allow for precise determination of environmental impacts in different categories, such as greenhouse gas emissions, natural resource consumption, or waste generation.
Independent verificationThe EPD should be subject to independent verification by an accredited institution, which verifies whether the declaration creation process meets the specified requirements.
Validity periodThe EPD must have a validity period that specifies how many years the declaration is valid and current.
Openness and accessibilityThe EPD should be available to all interested parties, without fees or restrictions, allowing for product comparison and selection of those with a smaller environmental impact.
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