What is an Environmental Product Declaration (EPD)?

An EPD is a document that quantifiably demonstrates the environmental impacts of a product. They are a Type III environmental label.

An EPD is generated based on data obtained through Life Cycle Assessment (LCA). An LCA is performed using a peer reviewed Product Category Rules document (PCR) in line with EN 15804 (the European Standard for the generation of EPD for construction products), ISO 14025, and other related international standards.

They can be used as marketing material, and for the improvement of product manufacture, or process efficiency. They can also feed into whole building assessment schemes, other comparative tools, and building information modelling (BIM) CAD software to make comparisons and assess design options that improve a building’s environmental performance.

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How EPD benefit you:

  • Provide quantified data on your products environmental impacts (Embodied Carbon, Ozone, Acidification etc)
  • Exceed customer demands & specifications from increased transparency of your products impacts
  • Boost reputation through internationally recognised standards
  •  Enable whole life cycle management
  • Support innovative product development (improve energy, transport costs and materials efficiency)
  • Get recognised by building assessment schemes, such as BREEAM, LEED, DGNB and Green Star.

Why choose BRE?

  • – BRE is internationally recognised for its expertise in Life Cycle Assessment. We consulted industry stakeholders to develop a comprehensive EPD Scheme in line with the European standard EN 15804.
  • – This verification mark represents quality and illustrates that a product has gone through a rigorous verification process.
  • – Membership of BRE’s Verified Environmental Product Declaration Scheme is cost effective and provides a fast-track route to meeting the obligations of EN 15804. Independent expertise delivers better quality outcomes, saving time in the longer term.

Who trusts BRE?

Over 250 EPD have already been published, and many more are currently undergoing development and verification. Our EPD scheme has:

  • Trade association members members such as Brick Development Association, Wood for Good and UK Cares.
  • Large National and Global Manufacturers such as Hanson, Kingspan and Hempel.
  • Small and start up manufacturers such as Kenoteq, Addagrip and Ecotherm.

 

A full list of current scheme members and their published EPD can be found online.

Route to getting your EPD – Option 1 – BRE Consultancy

  • – Client completes data collection form
  • – BRE completes the modelling and produces draft EPD
  • – Client reviews
  • – Draft sent for verification
  • – Verified and published

 

Start your journey

Route to getting your EPD – Option 2 – BRE LINA Tool subscription

  • Client subscribes to LINA tool
  • Client uploads required data into LINA
  • Client produces draft EPD
  • Draft sent for verification
  • Verified and published

 

Start your journey

What do I do if I want an EN 15804 EPD for my product?

Step 1: Register your interest to discuss you needs.

Step 2: Engage with a LCA Consultant and begin collating product data.

There are several types of EPD so engaging with a LCA Consultant is important to understand what is right for you. Your Consultant may be internal to your organisation, from BRE or an independently qualified third-party. The types of EPD that could be considered include:

  • Average product Or Manufacturer-specific product
  • Product range Or Product-specific
  • Declared unit Or Functional unit
  • Business to business Or Business to consumer

Step 3: Verification

Your EPD, with the product data you have provided, will then be submitted to BRE as the Independent Verifier.

Step 4: Issue & Publication

BRE is a EPD Programme Operator and provides a publication service. This will include loading your verified EPD on to GreenBook Live and also on to the Eco Platform.

EPD operators can have mutual recognition with other EPD programmes around the world ​ ECO Platform is aimed at further harmonisation of EPD in Europe and responding to new initiatives and demands, e.g. Product Environmental Footprinting. BRE is founding member and sits on the board of Ecoplatform.

Can I group products in a single EPD?

While it is generally good practise to produce a single EPD; providing verified transparency of each products environmental impacts, there are many cases where multiple products are combined in a single EPD. For example:

  1. Product range EPD – small changes to EPD such as colour variation or other differences in the make-up of the product that are unlikely to affect the results significantly can be grouped. The representativeness of averages must be documented in the EPD and will typically declare an average or worst case. Products may be doing themselves a disservice in terms of performance if they are grouped into an average with higher impacts and designers may avoid specifying the product. Sensitivities should be run during the LCA to understand how significant the differences in products within a range are.
  2. Scale factor EPD – where scaling of impacts per declared unit is not linear scaling factors can be applied. A range of scaling factors may be documented in the EPD for different products in the range such as differing sizes or compositions. This approach is reliant on the EPD user to understand what the scaling factor is and adjust the results appropriately, something that can be challenging when they are machine-read within LCA tools.

If the variance within the product range is high, separate EPD are recommended. The data within EPD is increasingly being used to inform design decision making and good performing products will be more likely to be specified if they have an individual EPD rather than being grouped into a poorer performing averages.

Where individual EPD are required EPD, generator tools can be a very cost effective method to generate high volume EPD – simplified tools e.g. based on a small number of material inputs can be produced to automate the EPD results. If you would like to know more please contact us via e-mail or telephone, using the contact details on this page.

What information is required to produce an EPD?

The Life Cycle Assessment and subsequent EPD publication is a desktop exercise requiring information to be gathered relating to the factories material consumption, energy, water and waste typically for 1 full production year. The data collection form typically used can be found here.

Enquire about our EN 15804 Environmental Product Declarations

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