Capturing the value generated by an EPD

By Mattias Jönsson

15 April, 2021

Value generated by an EPD

Environmental product declaration (EPD)

To understand how to capture the value generated by an EPD, one must know what an EPD is. An EPD is a condensed version of a complete Life Cycle Assessment (LCA) report. It transparently communicates the sustainability impact or effect of any product or substance on the environment over its lifespan convincingly.

The purpose for an EPD

Some of the purposes for an EPD adaptation are Green public procurement (GPP), construction inspection systems and eco-design. The idea of type III environmental declarations mainly initiated business-to-business communication, but the guidelines did not prohibit their use in business-to-consumer communication. 

The International EPD System

An EPD has a solid structure which is valued by the market. It’s focused on well-defined guidelines and international norms. Before being released by an EPD Program Operator, it is subjected to third-party testing to ensure its independence and objectivity.

An EPD helps to reduce carbon emissions by allowing consumers to compare the effects of various materials and goods to choose the most eco-friendly alternative. 

What are the benefits of using or creating EPDs? What would it mean for my company?

EPDs are created and implemented voluntarily in marketing and development programmes. However, a growing movement is to place a greater focus on environmental consequences. As a result, the number of EPDs and their utilization is rapidly increasing. When public and private citizens become more mindful of global warming and greenhouse emissions, they are increasingly demanding EPDs.

It is also a phenomenon governed by public entities. The Construction Products Regulation 305/2011/EU became enacted in the case of the European Union. It administers the sale of environmentally responsible building materials and mandates the use of EPDs to measure the construction industry’s environmental impact. As a result, if you want to make and market a point that your company is environmentally conscious, EPDs are the way to go. 

If you want to stand out from the crowd and gain a strategic advantage, you can seize the opportunity provided by EPDs. The catch is that you have to respond quickly. Being obedient isn’t enough to win a strategic edge, and it gets even tougher over time. To reap the benefits and create environmentally sustainable alternatives within the product category or related goods, you must be ahead of the competition.

Most major environmental certifications have EPDs as a requirement. With each new certification edition, obtaining the credits becomes a more difficult job. For example, LEED Gold and Platinum certifications are onerous to catch, and this is where EPDs can benefit. Compared to other credits, obtaining EPD and LCA credits for your building’s certification are very cost-effective and accessible.

What is the most practical approach to using an EPD?

EPDs helps to reduce a product’s or a building’s ecological consequences. EPDs can be made useful as a product marketing technique, and they can discover previously unnoticed strategies to modify a product or construction. 

The two most effective ways to use or build an EPD are:

  • Hiring a contractor
  • Using a decent estimation method 

It is necessary to be cautious when selecting criteria for your EPD and wary when appointing a contractor. The only distinction is that the contractors use simulation software because the above choice requires you to do all of the calculations personally.


The final word

It’s time we put an end to the theory and raise awareness about how EPD does not contain any delicate information. Yes, you are not revealing your manufacturing means or supply chain associates and activities. There are no such specifics in the public EPD that is published. An EPD only conveys the findings of the life cycle assessment. If you’re a building contractor or architect, comparing the EPD data of the products you’re going to use and selecting the most sustainable alternative is quick. If you’re a retailer or producer, certifying your goods with this approach shows that you care about problems like climate change, greenhouse emissions, and ecological consequences. These examples are just some of all the opportunities available to capturing the value generated by an EPD.

We hope that this article has given you a better idea of how EPD works and how it might assist you. If you have any further questions, don´t hesitate to contact us!