The overall goal of an EPD is to validate the environmental performance of a product of service, based upon Life Cycle Assessment (LCA) studies.
An important aspect of this communication tool is the possibility of becoming a solid comparison platform of products and services through the demonstrated environmental performance.
EPDs are created in accordance to European standards that reflect the increasing market demands. As far as the market of construction products are concerned, and according to the Regulation (EU) No 305/2011 of the European Parliament, when assessing the performance of a construction product, account should also be taken of the health and safety aspects related to its use during its entire life cycle. The same Regulation also reads that for the assessment of the sustainable use of resources and of the impact of construction works on the environment Environmental Products Declarations should be used. These are crucial considerations that determine the importance of EPDs in the internationalisation of organisations.
Important considerations resulting from the creation of EPDs
Nowadays, there is an increasing demand for quantified information about the environmental performance of products in the market. In terms of internationalisation, accurate and verifiable information is demanded. EPDs were developed with the overall purpose to meet these needs, both nationally and internationally.
EPDs represent a secure and complete information source about the environmental performance of products.
In order to create an EPD, it is necessary that the responsible organisation carries out LCA studies on the product. The results obtained with these studies are potential improvement factors for the manufacturers, given that they allow:
- a detailed knowledge of the implications derived from the entire manufacture process of the product, allowing the identification of improvement opportunities in the unit processes of the product’s system;
- the identification of aspects that enable the introduction of ECO-design;
- the identification of solutions to optimise the sustainability of manufacture processes and the entire organisation.