An EPD (environmental product declaration) is a standardized way to quantify the environmental performance of a product, process or system and to report on it. EPD’s are based on a Life Cycle Assessment (LCA).

Environmental Product Declarations (EPDs) for building products help to encourage the demand for, and supply of, construction products that cause less stress on the environment. This happens through communication of verifiable and accurate information on the environmental performance of those construction products, which stimulates the potential for market-driven, continuous environmental improvement. EPDs for construction products

On July 14, 2014 a Royal Decree was published in Belgium describing minimum requirements for the use of environmental claims for construction products and to register environmental product declarations in a federal EPD database. The legislation applies to all construction products offered on the market in Belgium. With this the government wants to combat greenwashing. The legislation is largely based on International standards (ISO 14040, ISO 14044, ISO 14025, …) and European norms within the framework of CEN TC 350 - Sustainability of construction works (EN 15804, EN 15978, …). 

Advantages

With an EPD you can: 

  • Provide objective and transparent information about the environmental performance of your products to your customers as part of marketing the sustainability aspects of your products (enhancement of brand reputation) 
  • Reflect continuously on the environmental improvement of your products and identify opportunities to optimize your manufacturing processes 
  • Provide credibility through a third party verified EPD 
  • Rely on it in your decision-making processes 
  • Influence environmental policies 
  • Save costs 
  • Improve the sustainability of the value chain, based on the data provided by the EPD 
  • Demonstrate the environmental awareness of your actions and can use this for image building and as a sales argument 
  • Benchmark your product against those of your competitors 
  • Be connected in Belgium to a tool that assesses the environmental performance of building elements and buildings, using your brand specific information 

Application

Manufacturers that want to make an environmental claim, must first assess the environmental performance of their construction product over the entire lifecycle from production to disposal phase by means of a Life Cycle Assessment (LCA). This scientifically based LCA is then poured into an EPD. 

  • Internal environmental management: monitoring and improving the environmental performance of products. 
  • B-2-B – Communication about the environmental performance of your product with relevant and reliable data towards specifiers, purchasers, customers, clients, etc. 
  • B-2-C – Communication about the environmental performance of the your product by explaining the difference you are making for the environment
EPD

Environmental product declarations (EPDs) are in fact a documented proof about the environmental performance of your products, causing less stress on the environment. The Belgian Royal Decree sets minimum requirements being an EPD, if a manufacturer of construction products decides to put an environmental claim on his product. It is expected that these policies will find entrance in other European countries as well. EnergyVille can help you to develop the EPDs for your products and guide you through all steps needed to finally register and publish them in a specific EPD program: selection of EPD program, selection of specific product category rules (PCR) for your product group, performanceof the LCA (goal and scope, data collection, LCA modelling (environmental profile), creation of LCA background report and EPD, guidance through the verification process, the registration and publication in a specific EPD program, including several meetings with detailed guidance in all steps. EPDs can be brand specific EPDs as well as industry average EPDs and representative EPDs (mainly for associations or their members).

Kris Boonen

Contact

Kris Boonen

Business Developer Smart Energy and Built Environment at EnergyVille/VITO