A Memorandum of Understanding has been signed between the peak bodies for LCA in Australia and New Zealand and the The Swedish Environmental Management Council to work together to establish, operate and maintain an Australasian Environmental Product Declaration (EPD) Scheme. The signing of the MoU was announced at the 8th Australian LCA Society Conference in Manly.
First of all, what is an Environmental Product Declaration? Often described as the environmental equivalence of nutritional content information on food products. A certified Environmental Product Declaration, EPD, reports environmental data of products based on life cycle assessment (LCA) and in accordance with the international standard ISO 14025.
Secondly, why use EPDs? Today, the global market has an increased demand for science-based, verified and comparable information about environmental performance of goods and services. The demand comes from several market places, such as in the raw material supply-chain, for product development and green procurement.
EPDs are likely to be the key reporting mechanism for LCA in Green Star. Internationally EPDs are becoming compulsory by law. The French Grenelle law demands that all high volume consumer products sold in France must have an EPD. It is anticipated that this policy will become commonplace in other EU countries as well.
Why an Australasian EPD Scheme? The purpose of the Australasian EPD Scheme will be to enable industry to provide comprehensive environmental product information, consistent with relevant international standards and practices. By collaborating with the International EPD® System Australasia will link into an established scheme already providing:
- A complete programme for any interested organisation in any country to develop and communicate EPDs according to ISO 14025:2006 and EN 15804:2012, carbon footprint of products according to ISO/TS 14067:2013, and
- Support to other environmental declaration programmes (i.e. national, sectorial, etc.) in seeking cooperation and harmonisation and helping organisations to broaden the use of their environmental declarations on an international market.
The Swedish Environmental Management Council act as the programme operator and has the overall responsibility of International EPD® System. Edge Environment have contributed through the ALCAS Board to deliver this milestone for LCA and sustainable procurement in Australia.