About Environmental Product Declarations (EPD)
An EPD presents the environmental performance of products and services in an objective and standardized way.
An EPD reports verified environmental data of products based on life cycle assessment (LCA) .
An explanatory text has been published by VITO, an independent Flemish research organization providing innovative technological solutions as well as scientific support in order to stimulate sustainable development.
The overall goal of Environmental Product Declarations (EPD) is to encourage the demand for, and supply of, products that cause less stress on the environment, through communication of verifiable and accurate information on environmental aspects of those products that is not misleading, thereby stimulating the potential for market-driven, continuous environmental improvement.
An EPD is a so called type III environmental declaration. This type of declaration provides quantified environmental data using predetermined parameters. The calculation of predetermined parameters is based on the ISO 14040 series of standards, which is made up of ISO 14040, and ISO 14044. Type III environmental declarations contain information without giving an opinion and are comparable and transparent.
EPDs are based on Life Cycle Assessment (LCA) and provide a standardized way of presenting the results of such a LCA. A LCA is a suitable method to analyze the environmental impacts of a product, process and/or system, from an entire life cycle perspective. LCA quantifies the potential environmental effects of a product over its entire life cycle, meaning that the extraction of raw materials, the production of materials and the product, the use and the end-of-life treatment are taken into account.
According to ISO 14040 and ISO 14044 (ISO, 2006), a full environmental LCA includes 4 phases, which are not independent of each other:
- goal and scope definition;
- life cycle inventory analysis (LCI);
- life cycle impact assessment (LCIA);
In parallel, PE 100+ Association has recently sponsored a study aiming at comparing LCA of large diameter PE pipes with ductile iron pipes.