Reporting environmental impacts of your service or product just took a big step forward. On Tuesday 2nd September the Australasian EPD® Programme was announced at the New Zealand Life Cycle Assessment Conference. While the assessment of environmental impacts has been around for a long time, this scheme will offer an Australasian specific programme and standards by which the environmental impacts of products and services can be understood and communicated.
What is an EPD?
An Environmental Product Declaration (EPD) is like a nutrition label for environmental credentials. An EPD is a standardised and independently verified declaration of environmental performance across the life cycle of a product. EPDs need to comply with Product Category Rules to ensure they are consistent and comparable with other products within a category. An EPD does not certify how good or bad your environmental performance is, however you may choose to use the results of the life cycle assessment to attain accreditation under an eco-label scheme.
Key characteristics of EPDs are: Objective, Credible, Neutral, Comparable, Open to all goods and services, Open to all interested parties, Environmental impact-oriented, and Instructive.
Why do we need an Australasian EPD Scheme?
The Australasian EPD Programme immediately offers a large number of Product Category Rules (PCRs) across several sectors, including building products, infrastructure, food and electronics. The alignment with the leading ISO 14025 compliant international scheme is a another great stride towards harmonisation of standards and global recognition of certifications.
What is involved?
There are three steps in an EPD process:
- Develop a product specific Life Cycle Assessment
- Draft the EPD from the LCA in accordance with the PCR
- Third party verification, certification and registration of the EPD
What are the benefits?
EPDs are increasingly being demanded within procurement processes and are now included in green rating tools like the Green Building Council tools such as Green Star in Australia and LEED v4.
An EPD ensures that you can effectively communicate your environmental credentials to your clients and avoids risks associated with unsubstantiated environmental claims (e.g. greenwash).
Undertaking an LCA also helps you to understand the environmental impacts of your product throughout its life and can be used to increase efficiencies and reduce waste.
Get in touch:
Edge Environment is the leading practitioner of Life Cycle Assessment in Australia and has been central to the evolution of LCA in Australia since our inception. We have the skills and the knowledge of the Australian market to ensure that your EPD connects to your clients needs. Contact us here or phone Jacqui (02) 9438 0100.