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What is an Environmental Product Declaration?

An Environmental Product Declaration (EDP) is an ISO standardized and LCA based tool to communicate the environmental performance of a product or system.

EPD is voluntarily developed information and the purpose is to provide quality-assured and comparable information regarding environmental performance of products. There is no evaluation of the environmental information since no predetermined environmental performance levels are set.  Instead it builds on well-structured and quantitative data certified by an independent third party.

EPD’s are based on a Life Cycle Assessment.  It includes information about the environmental impacts associated with a product or service, such as raw material acquisition, energy use and efficiency, content of materials and chemical substances, emissions to air, soil and water and waste generation. It also includes product and company information.

To be comparable, EPDs need to be conducted using a common methodology.  To control the calculations and data collection detailed requirements for each product group  are developed: Product Category Rules (PCR). These are developed by organizations like Environdec, IBU, JEMAI, the Green Standard and others.

EPDs can reflect the continuous environmental improvement of products over time and are able to communicate and add up relevant environmental information along a product's value or supply chain. EPDs also add new market dimensions to inform about environmental performance of products and services - objectivity, comparability and credibility. Internally you can use the information gained from an EPD/LCA to select ecodesign options.

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