An EPD is created by an organisation to declare the environmental impact of their product. The International EPD System is open to EPDs for any type of goods or services.
Process for EPD Development
Developing an Environmental Product Declaration in the International EPD System includes the following main steps:
When developing an EPD, the environmental performance of the product shall be described from a life cycle perspective why one of the main steps is to carry out a life cycle assessment (LCA) of the product. The LCA study may be performed by the organisation itself (in-house) or with the help of a consultant with expertise in LCA and environmental declarations. To avoid conflicts of interest between a consultant and the verification, the cost of verification shall be set up and paid between the company and the verifier, and not be included in the offer from the consultant.
The LCA study shall comply with:
The international accepted principles, framework, methodology and practices for LCA established by ISO 14040 and ISO 14044,
The general purpose of EPDs in the collection of data, and the methods and assumptions used as advocated in the ISO standard 14025 and described in Annex A of the General Programme Instructions, and
The Product Category Rules (PCR) applicable to the product category. The PCR used shall be listed at www.environdec.com and valid at the time of the verification. The Secretariat may provide guidance in finding the correct PCR, and it should be contacted in case of doubts about the applicability of the PCR to the product in question. The Secretariat may in turn seek support from the PCR moderator or the Technical Committee. If a PCR does not exist for the product category of interest, it shall be developed based on the process described on the Environdec web page (see "PCR Development" button below) For new product categories, a pre-certified EPD may be published in parallel to PCR development.
The results of the LCA study and other information mandated by the reference PCR and General Programme Instructions shall be compiled in the EPD reporting format. This may be performed by the organisation itself (in-house) or with the help of a consultant. The International EPD System includes the requirements for the EPD reporting format in terms of contents, while some flexibility is allowed in the formatting and layout provided that the EPD still includes the prescribed information. Additional requirements may be put on the reporting format in the reference PCR, or in order for the EPD to be used in certain applications. As a general rule, the EPD content:
Shall be in line with the requirements and guidelines in ISO 14020 (Environmental labels and declarations - General principles),
Shall be verifiable, accurate, relevant, and not misleading, and shall not include rating, judgements, or direct comparisons with other products.
An EPD should be made with a reasonable number of pages for the intended audience and use.
For EPDs for construction products compliant with EN 15804, the communication format of the EPD shall be in accordance with EN 15942, Sustainability of construction works — Environmental product declarations — Communication formats: business to business.
EPDs should be published in English, but may also be published in additional languages. If the EPD is not available in English, it shall contain an executive summary in English that includes the main content of the EPD. This summary is part of the EPD and, thus, subject to the same verification procedure.
Including Multiple Products from the Same Company in the Same EPD
Similar products covered by the same PCR and manufactured by the same company with the same core process may be included in the same EPD if the following requirements are met:
Similar products with differences between the environmental indicators in Section 9.5.5 lower than ±10% may be presented in the same EPD using the impacts of an environmentally representative product. The criteria for the choice of representative product shall be presented in the EPD, using, where applicable, statistical parameters.
Similar products with differences between the environmental indicators in Section 9.5.5 higher than ±10% may be presented in the same EPD but presenting the results separately for each product, while adhering to the rules about a reasonable number of pages for the intended audience and use.
There are two types of verification procedures in the International EPD System as one of the steps in developing an EPD:
verification of LCA-based data, additional environmental information, and other information presented in an EPD based on the General Programme Instructions and a valid reference PCR. EPD verification shall be conducted by an approved individual verifier or an accredited certification body.
verification of an internal organisational process aimed to develop EPDs based on the General Programme Instructions and valid reference PCRs covered under the scope of certification. EPD process certification shall be conducted by an accredited certification body.
It is possible to have an EPD calculation tool “pre-verified”. This shall not replace the need for EPD verification according to one of the options above. The verification process shall be carried out by an approved individual verifier or an accredited certification body with knowledge and experience of the types of products, the industry, and relevant standards of the product covered by the EPD and its geographical scope.
After verification, EPDs can be registered and published by the Southeast Asia EPD Programme. Once published the EPD will also appear in the EPD library of the International EPD System, ensuring world-wide visibility. To register a new EPD, the following documents must be provided to the Secretariat:
EPD registration form (see "contact" button below for link to template)
EPD - final version after verification. The EPD may be provided in one or multiple languages, and in multiple versions formatted for desktop computers or mobile use. If the EPD is not available in English, it shall contain an executive summary in English that includes the main content of the EPD.
Verification report in English as provided by the verifier, and/or certificate of EPD Process Certification.
Product description in English to be used at www.environdec.com
Picture of the declared product or service to be used at www.environdec.com
Company logotype (only needed in the case of first EPD registration). Please note that due to technical reasons, the maximum size of a single e-mail is 15 MB. There is a fee structure associated with the registration and publication of EPDs in the International EPD System, which is the main source of funding for the operation of the programme.
Upon receiving complete and correct documentation, the Secretariat shall issue a registration number and publish the EPD at www.environdec.com, supplemented with information about the organisation, contact details, etc. The programme operator may also publish the EPD in alternative formats or managed databases to enable further use of EPD information. Upon publication of the EPD, it will be valid to be used by the organisation until it has expired or is de-registered. During this time, the organisation may also use the International EPD System logotype.
Additional Options During EPD Registration
There are currently a few voluntary options during EPD registration. These options may be subject to additional fees.
Certificate An EPD owner may request an electronic certificate to demonstrate that the EPD is registered and published within the International EPD System. The certificate is issued by the Secretariat upon request and after outstanding fees have been paid.
Use of the Eco Platform EPD Logotype
This option is only applicable to EN 15804-compliant EPDs for construction products.
Choosing this option means that the Secretariat prepares a machine-readable EPD file based on the EPD. The machine-readable EPD is published alongside the EPD at https://data.environdec.com. The company may also provide a ready xml-file during registration to be published in the database.
Dual registration into other programmes As part of its efforts for international harmonization of EPD information, the International EPD System has made mutual recognition agreements with established EPD programmes.
A published EPD may be corrected and amended (see Section 6.5). An EPD will normally remain published until the EPD owner requests it to be de-registered by contacting the Secretariat.