Standardized by ISO 14025 (type III, environmental declarations), EPD is a voluntary declaration, independently verified and registered document that communicated transparent and comparable information about the environmental impact of a product. It is based on Life Cycle Assessment (LCA) guidelines and it follows 3 steps to assure a correct validation from a panel of experts.
The main target is to help environmental conscious customers to make the best sustainable decisions among multiple product manufacturers. Up to now, the online database contains 1000+ EPDs for various product categories by organizations in 43 countries, overall. Construction is the most addressed industry sector that EPD have been focused on.
One of the main benefits that EPD brings to companies is the capacity to increase the corporate image and communicate large amounts of environmental information.
Furthermore, EPDs provide meaningful information to match communication activities, i.e. B2B or B2C, both in private and public sectors, such as green public procurement and environmental management systems.
To be aligned with an LCA project reports, the Product Category Rules (PCR) is the framework that provide rules for developing an EPD for a specific product category, by following the EN15084. Moreover, it enables smooth comparison among products within the same category.
Big players in the industry such as ABB, 3M, Mapei, and Barilla have implemented this tool to their products not only to engage sustainability to their core businesses but also demonstrate commitment to the environment to their customers. The International EPD® System allows companies to create EPD by either internal or external tools and no verification is needed if the calculation are undertaken in a dedicated LCA software (GaBi, SimaPro, OpenLCA).
Even though European Union was leading the state-of-the-art EPD practices and implementations, North America and Asia are showing awareness about the topic.