Tees Valley Net Zero News

Environmental Product Declaration

Environmental Product Declarations (EPDs) are comprehensive, internationally recognised, and third-party verified reports communicating a product’s or service’s environmental performance over its entire lifespan, from raw material extraction to end-of-life disposal or recycling. This factsheet provided an overview of EPDs, their foundation in Life Cycle Assessment (LCA), the standards they adhere to, and their applications.

Life Cycle Assessment and its Role in EPDs

The backbone of an EPD is the Life Cycle Assessment (LCA), which offers a systematic approach to evaluating a product’s or process’s environmental impacts. The LCA process encompasses four essential stages:

  1. Goal and Scope: Defining the purpose and boundaries of the LCA.
  2. Life Cycle Inventory (LCI): Compiling an inventory of relevant energy and material inputs and environmental releases.
  3. Life Cycle Impact Assessment (LCIA): This involves assessing the potential environmental impacts of the identified inputs and releases.
  4. Interpretation: Evaluating the results to make informed decisions on decarbonisation.

The LCA quantifies environmental impacts throughout these stages, including impact categories such as global warming potential, CO2 emissions, acidification, and ecotoxicity.

What is an EPD?

An Environmental Product Declaration (EPD) is a certified and widely recognised form of LCA. Key characteristics of an EPD include:

  • Verification and Certification: EPDs are verified by a third party to ensure accuracy and reliability.
  • Product Category Rules (PCR): EPDs follow specific PCRs, which provide guidelines and rules for developing the EPD based on the product type. PCRs ensure consistency, transparency, and comparability across different EPDs.
  • Publication: Once the LCA data is formatted according to the PCR and verified, the EPD is published on platforms like EPD International. This makes the EPD accessible to the public, consumers, and businesses.

Standards Followed by EPDs

EPDs adhere to international standards, primarily:

  • ISO 14025: Specifies the principles and procedures for developing Type III environmental declarations.
  • ISO 14040/44: Defines the principles and framework for conducting LCAs, including requirements and guidelines.

By following these standards, EPDs provide a reliable and standardised way to report environmental performance.

EPD Applications

EPDs are valuable tools in various sectors, notably:

  • Construction: EPDs are integral to achieving green building certifications such as LEED (Leadership in Energy and Environmental Design) and BREEAM (Building Research Establishment Environmental Assessment Method). These certifications recognise buildings that meet high environmental and sustainability standards.
  • Environmental Marketing: EPDs offer transparent and credible data on products’ environmental performance, aiding companies in their ecological marketing efforts. This transparency helps consumers make informed choices and supports businesses in demonstrating their commitment to sustainability.

How the Tees Valley Net Zero Programme can help:

The Tees Valley Net Zero programme is a regional initiative aimed at reducing carbon emissions and promoting sustainability within the Tees Valley area. EPDs play a crucial role in this programme by providing reliable data on the environmental impact of products and processes. By integrating EPDs into their operations, businesses in the Tees Valley can:

  • Enhance Sustainability: Use EPDs to identify and implement more sustainable practices and materials, reducing their overall carbon footprint.
  • Achieve Net Zero Goals: Leverage the comprehensive data from EPDs to meet the stringent requirements of the Tees Valley Net Zero programme and contribute to the region’s overarching environmental objectives.
  • Promote Transparency: Demonstrate their commitment to sustainability and transparency, aligning with the goals of the Tees Valley Net Zero initiative and enhancing their reputation among environmentally conscious consumers and stakeholders.

To find out more and register your interest in the programme, please visit: https://teesvalley-ca.gov.uk/business/business-growth-support/net-zero/?utm_source=website&utm_medium=organic&utm_campaign=ukspf_net_zero&utm_id=Net+Zero