Environmental Product Declaration: A Key Differentiator for Your Product’s Environmental Impact

Environmental Product Declarations (EPDs) are standardized documents that provide comprehensive and transparent information about the environmental impact of a product throughout its lifecycle. These declarations follow international standards, primarily ISO 14025, EN 15804, and General Program Instructions (GPI) v4 Requirements, which offer a way for manufacturers to communicate the environmental performance of their products in a clear and comparable format.

An EPD typically includes data on:

  • Raw material acquisition: The environmental impact of sourcing materials.
  • Energy use and efficiency: Energy consumption throughout the product’s lifecycle.
  • Emissions to air, soil, and water: Pollutants released during production and disposal.
  • Waste generation: Amount and type of waste produced.
  • Water use: Water consumption during the product’s lifecycle.

Differences Between EPD Process Verification and EPD Stand-Alone Verification

Epsten Group is a global leader in Stand-Alone EPD Verification, as well as EPD Process Verification. Our team conducts EPD Stand-Alone verification which focuses on the assessment and validation of a single EPD, along with the LCA Report. This involves a detailed review of the specific data, calculations, and environmental impacts associated with one product’s lifecycle. In addition, our team can certify your internal EPD Process so that you can create EPDs under EPD Process Verification. This cost-effective approach allows for scalability for companies that produce high volume products. For example, Epsten Group recently provided this service to a Fortune 500 paint manufacturer who has produced over 100 EPDs for their paint products in six months. This allowed our client to save time and money by streamlining the creation of their own EPDs and reduced the need for a Stand Alone EPD review of each individual product.

The Value of EPDs

  • Transparency and Trust: EPDs enhance transparency by providing detailed, verified information about a product’s environmental impact. This builds trust with consumers, stakeholders, and regulators who increasingly demand proof of sustainability.
  • Comparability: Since EPDs follow standardized formats, they enable easy comparison between similar products from different manufacturers. This helps consumers and businesses make informed decisions based on environmental performance.
  • Market Differentiation: Companies that invest in EPDs can differentiate themselves in the marketplace by demonstrating a commitment to sustainability. This can attract environmentally conscious customers and open up new market opportunities.
  • Regulatory Compliance: In many regions, EPDs are becoming a requirement for building products and materials. Having an EPD can ensure compliance with green building certifications like LEED and BREEAM, which often mandate EPDs for certain credits.
  • Improved Product Development: The process of creating an EPD involves a thorough analysis of a product’s lifecycle. This can identify areas for improvement, leading to more sustainable product development and reduced environmental impact.
  • Corporate Responsibility and Reporting: EPDs support corporate sustainability reporting and align with global sustainability frameworks such as the Global Reporting Initiative (GRI) and the Carbon Disclosure Project (CDP). This helps companies articulate their environmental impact in a structured and credible manner.

Conclusion

EPDs are powerful tools in the push towards greater sustainability. They provide transparency, enable comparability, offer market differentiation, ensure regulatory compliance, enhance product development, and support corporate responsibility. As businesses and consumers alike prioritize sustainability, EPDs are becoming essential for demonstrating environmental stewardship and making informed, responsible choices.

About the Author

Megan Blizzard

Megan has been with Epsten Group, A Salas O’Brien Company, for over six years. She has a background in green building procedures and is dedicated to using a sustainable approach to modern-day design and development. By being forward-thinking in the challenges of construction and design, Megan enables companies to thrive in the green building industry. Every day Megan succeeds in problem-solving to find optimal solutions for the people, planet, and profit. Megan currently manages the Sustainability Consulting Department, as well as a variety of LEED, Fitwel, Guiding Principles, and EPD Process Verification and Stand-Alone projects.

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