What is an EPD

An Environmental Product Declaration (EPD) enables a manufacturer to declare the environmental credentials of a product and enables the user of a product to consider this data in their procurement decisions.

The standards for Environmental Product Declarations (EPDs) are:

ISO 14025:2006 Environmental labels and declarations -- Type III environmental declarations -- Principles and procedures, and

ISO 21930:2007 Sustainability in building construction -- Environmental declaration of building products

EPDs are defined by ISO 14025 as being “quantified environmental data for a product with pre-set categories or parameters based on the ISO 14040/4 standards (LCA), but not excluding additional environmental information.” 

An EPD provides o a single source of scientifically robust and transparent information about a product’s environmental impact, verified by a qualified third party. o a summary of the important environmental impacts of a product through its life cycle; o in accordance with publically available criteria (product category rules); o that is verified by an independent authority. 

To meet ISO requirements, an EPD must meet four criteria:

  1. Use Product Category Rules for the relevant product type that determine the scope, boundaries, functional unit, assessment criteria, product and environmental performance information that all manufactures must report for their product 
  2. Be based on a Product Life Cycle Assessment (LCA) that conforms to ISO 14040/4 the appropriate product category rules.
  3. Provide an EPD Report certified and signed by an independent authority
  4. Be registered in a system that is operated in an open and professional manner using program rules that are publically available.

Increasingly, specifiers and purchasers are seeking the credibility and transparency provided by a Type III (EPD) independently verified. In today's marketplace (whether national or global in scope), it is no longer sufficient for manufacturers to make claims that are not certified to a recognised and transparent standard with the results verified by a qualified third party expert.  In particular, European Governments are setting mandates for Type III independently verified EPDs for products.