Environmental Product Declaration Type III - EPD
JW+A provides specialized services in consulting and conducting a Type III environmental product declaration – EPD.
An Environmental Product Declaration Type III (EPD) is an independently verified summary of how a product impacts the environment during its life cycle. The calculation is based on the results of an LCA (Life Cycle Assessment).
The LCA assesses the environmental impact of a product over its entire life cycle, including all stages from raw material extraction, through manufacturing, to disposal or recycling.
Why is it worth having an EPD?
Performing an EPD is voluntary, but signals a manufacturer’s commitment to measuring and reducing a product’s environmental impact and a responsible and modern approach to the concept of sustainable building. Customers who are aware of the global carbon footprint problem often opt for an EPD, which makes it easier to choose the right product by comparing lifecycle CO2 emissions. For manufacturers, estimating emissions allows them to benchmark themselves against the competition, which can stimulate further positive manufacturing development by identifying where and how to reduce environmental impact.
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Technical criteria for EPD environmental declarations
EPD environmental declarations are created based on the requirements of standards: ISO 14025 Type III Environmental labels and declarations and EN 15804 Sustainability of construction works – Environmental product declarations – Basic principles for the categorization of construction products.
EPD declarations are developed after life cycle assessment (LCA) according to the applicable Product Category Rules (PCR). The PCRs are managed by the EPD program operators to ensure EPDs comply with ISO 14025.
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EPD declarations are verified by an independent third party with the required competence and knowledge. Independently verified declarations – provide information on the environmental impact of a product in accordance with international standards and with objectivity, comparability and reliability.
Entities issuing and verifying EPD declarations are associated in the international organization ECO-Platform. Polish verifying entity is the Building Research Institute (ITB).
What are the benefits of having an EPD?
EPDs are voluntary, but more and more entities understand and see the business and environmental benefits of using them. Among the key benefits are:
- market differentiation: differentiating a product from its competitors, in the construction industry EPD allows comparing the impact of different materials and products in order to choose the most sustainable option,
- regulations and legal requirements: all public procurement authorities in the EU and EEA are required to use EPDs to assess the environmental footprint of products, and a country like Belgium requires the use of EPDs if a company has environmental marketing activities,
- credits and certification: EPDs allow for additional points in multi-criteria certification systems such as LEED or BREEAM.
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What is it like to work with JW+A on the EPD?
The process of creating an EPD declaration can be boiled down to 6 steps:
This is the first and most important point to plan the strategy of cooperation, determine the needs of the client and the schedule of work. What products should the EPD include? Are the products in several variants, e.g. different sizes? Is the EPD to be in Polish or in English? These are just some of the questions that should be answered by the client before work begins.
It depends on how accurate and precise data regarding production, materials, transportation, etc. can be obtained, the more accurate the final results will be. The JW+A team develops a detailed list of required input data and works with the customer to obtain this data from suppliers and production facilities.
Using the established calculation program OneClickLCA, JW+A’s specialists perform calculations which result in a series of environmental indicators describing the product’s impact on the environment.
On the basis of the collected input data, JW+A specialists prepare a detailed report that describes the methodology, assumptions and approach and includes the results from the LCA calculations.
The finished report goes to an independent body for verification. This is to ensure accuracy, reliability and consistency with accepted standards.
Upon successful verification, the EPD is given a sequential number and a certificate confirming that the verification has been completed. The EPD is published on the official website of the verifier and is a public document, accessible to all.