Environmental Product Declaration (EPD)

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Definition for Environmental Product Declaration (EPD)

An Environmental Product Declaration (EPD) is a standardized document informing about a product’s potential environmental and human health impact. The basis of an EPD is the norm ISO14025. In that document, EPDs are called Type III environmental declarations (Ecochain)

Explanation

An environmental product declaration is an externally verified Life Cycle Assessment (LCA) that has to be done using a set of pre-defined rules either for an entire Product Category (Product Category Rules, PCR) or specific to a type of product (PSR, Product-specific rules).

Say you manufacture a desktop computer. In order to get an EPD, you would need to perform a Life Cycle Assessment (LCA) based on the rules for desktop computers (PSR) or for computers in general (PCR). Then you need to find a consultancy that is accredited to verify your LCA that you made using the PSR/PCR rules. After the verification you will receive your Environmental Product Declaration.

Who makes the PCR or PSR rules? Many different entities manage these rules, examples are the EPD International or Product Environmental Passport (PEP) organizations. They define the PCR/PSR rules and publish them, as well as accredit consultants to verify LCAs against those rules.

Related SDIA publications

Related non-SDIA publications

A comprehensive explanation of EPDs was made by Ecochain. You can find it here:

We want to make EPD services and their use as accessible and affordable as possible. The International EPD System is the world’s first and leading global EPD programme operating in accordance with the ISO 14025, TS/14027, 14040, a.o. standards. For the building and construction sector, our manufacturers' EPDs also comply with the ISO 21930 and EN 15804 standards. Any organisation, no matter its size, location and industry has the right to publish EPDs in an as sensible, simple and affordable way. The market is craving for product specific and product variation specific LCA data (EPDs) instead of generic LCA data. As EPD International we want to be the facilitator of the development towards increased availability of product and service specific environmental performance information at large scale and provide these in a format that is attractive to the market. EPDs as a pool of third-party verified LCA information that can be used in various applications and scenarios have all the ingredients to fill this enormous data gap/lack and the new market need for digital data, but only when provided in a processable format. And indeed, EPDs shall play a decisive role in the larger context of policymaking linked to e.g. the Green Deal and many other national and multi-national policies and legislation when you ask us. (EPD International)