Environmental Product Declarations

What are Environmental Product Declarations (EPD)?

An Environmental Product Declaration (EPD) provides environmental information about a product in a standardised format using a consistent methodology. 

Environmental Product Declaration FAQs

An EPD provides environmental information about a product in a standardised format using a consistent methodology. For construction products in Europe, the European standard EN 15804 provides the format and methodology.

EPD: An Introduction

The UK Government has committed to reducing UK Carbon emissions to net zero by 2050 though a legally binding amendment to the Climate Change Act.

Meeting this goal requires us to rapidly address the embodied carbon associated with the extraction, manufacture, transport, use and end of life of construction products (which accounted for 33.6 million tonnes of CO2 in 2010), emphasising the need for credible and verifiable EPD for all construction products.

It is envisaged by 2022 that EPD will become mandatory as will mandatory assessment and reporting of whole life carbon for public buildings and the incentivisation of assessment and reporting of whole life carbon for private buildings.

Aside from embodied carbon, EPD has the ability to inform many aspects of sustainability at a product and building level as well as influencing many aspects of the entire supply and value chain. The need for credible and verified EPD has never been greater.

ISO 14025: 2006 sets out the overarching procedures and requirements for producing EPD for all product types (not just construction). EN 15804 sets out the core ‘product category rules (PCR) for construction products. There are additional standardised PCR for specific types of construction products that include timber, concrete, thermal insulation, cement and ceramic tiles.

The number of construction product EPD has grown steadily since 2012. In 2019 there were over 7000 downloadable EPD to EN 15804 within EPD Programmes. The largest number are in France (inies, PEP ecopassport), Germany (IBU) and the USA (UL Environment).

At the start of 2021, there are 360 EPD using EN 15804 for UK produced products, from over 60 manufacturers and UK trade associations, covering a wide range of construction products.

Environmental Product Declarations (EPD) for UK products

EPD have a wide range of applications, including for product comparison, embodied carbon assessments, carbon footprinting, product marketing, and more (see page 1 of briefing paper below).

EPD can be used by clients, contractors, end-users, regulators, designers and many other professions (see page 2 of briefing paper below).

EPD: How to Use

ECO Platform is an association of European construction product EPD Programmes that sets standards for verification and mutual recognition between programmes for example. It provides member programmes with the opportunity to list EPD on their website.

EPD Programme Operators using ECO Platform are required in ISO 14025, the overarching standard for EPD, to publish EPD and most make their EPD available as downloadable PDFs on their websites (see page 1-2 of briefing paper below for a full list of programme operators).

Many EPD programmes are now providing their EPD data in a digitised format, so that it can be used within BIM and Building LCA tools. Some countries have produced national databases of LCA data for construction products which can provide generic data for products without EPD, as well as EPD (see page 2 of briefing paper below).

EPD: Where to Find

Featured guidance - EPD benefits, expectations & fulfillments

The study by brands & values GmbH examines the benefits and expectations of Environmental Product Declarations (EPDs according to EN 15804) from the point of view of the stakeholders involved.

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