EPD (Environmental Product Declaration) is a Type III environmental declaration that complies with ISO 14025 standards. It is based on a Life Cycle Assessment (LCA) of a product or service, quantitatively presenting its environmental impact. It serves as a voluntary declaration of the product's environmental impact throughout its life cycle.
The international EPD system originated in Sweden and is operated by EPD International AB. Based on internationally standardized regulations, EPD is a globally recognized, quantifiably comparable, trustworthy, and verifiable technical document providing environmental performance data to various stakeholders. The EPD system is currently the most widely used environmental declaration worldwide, encompassing nearly all products and services.
Major EPD operators in the market include EPD International in Sweden, EPD-Norge in Norway, EPD Italy in Italy, UL-EPD, and EPD China.
Significance of EPD Certification
EPD represents a transparent and comparable environmental information document for the entire product lifecycle, characterized by neutrality and reliability. It has increasingly become a crucial criterion for high-end brands in various industries when selecting suppliers and building 'zero-carbon' supply chain management. For businesses, EPD certification can utilize LCA analysis to achieve energy efficiency, cost savings, and promote green manufacturing, thereby improving environmental decision-making. It not only highlights social responsibility and breaks international green trade barriers but also enhances product competitiveness, brand image, and customer recognition.
Why Pursue EPD Certification?
Requirements of EU Building Product Regulations and Building Ratings:
- EPD serves as valid compliance evidence for the EU Building Product Regulation (Regulation (EU) 305/2011). Article 56 of the regulation explicitly states that EPD should be used to assess the environmental impact and sustainable resource utilization of construction projects; and
- EPD is commonly used in all building rating systems, including BNB, LEED, and BREEAM.
Requirements of EU Sustainable Economic Activities Classification Regulation
- The EU Sustainable Economic Activities Classification Regulation (Regulation (EU) 2020/852), which became effective in 2020, requires the use of more transparent and standardized standards to eliminate investor skepticism about 'greenwashing' and boost confidence in the sustainability of investment projects.
- EPD based on the LCA method is one of the required pieces of evidence.
Requirements of EU New Battery Regulations
- The EU's new battery regulations require companies to disclose carbon footprint data for power batteries starting from July 1, 2024. The regulation also sets a maximum carbon footprint value (effective from July 1, 2027) as a fundamental condition for introducing batteries to the EU market.
Requirements of EU New ELV Regulations
- The EU's new ELV regulations propose reducing environmental footprints associated with vehicle production and disposal to have a positive impact on the environment (Environment Impact).
- EPD can serve as an effective proof document. The scope of the new ELV regulation includes M1 and N1 category vehicles, as well as M2, M3, N2, N3, O; L3e, L4e, L5e, L6e, L7e passenger cars, trucks, motorcycles, and more.
Requirements of EU Public Procurement Regulations
- EPD is recognized as valid evidence for environmental claims in public procurement. Some countries require EPD as a fundamental requirement for participating in government procurement project bidding. For example, in areas such as city infrastructure construction, public transportation projects, procurement of large event venues and associated equipment, public service parks, and building construction.
EPD Certification Process
EPD Certification Timeline
The typical implementation period for EPD certification is around 3-5 months, with the exact duration depending on the ease of obtaining relevant data for the company and the product. EPD certification is divided into three distinct phases.
- Research and collection of company and product-related data (approximately 1-2 months).
- Compilation and review of the LCA and EPD reports (approximately 1-2 months).
- EPD registration application (approximately 0.5-1 month).
The EPD certification is valid for five years, with the option to apply for a five-year extension upon expiration. EPDs that have already been published during the validity period are not affected by new version PCR. However, when applying for an extension, the LCA and EPD reports must be updated according to the latest version of PCR and re-verified through the EPD process.
EPD Certification Costs
The costs associated with EPD certification can be divided into four parts:
- LCA Consultant Advisory Fee: This includes preliminary research by the LCA consultancy, modeling and evaluation, preparation of LCA and EPD reports, coordination of the EPD audit, and EPD registration application.
- EPD Audit Fee: This covers the cost of third-party EPD auditors, including any travel expenses if necessary.
- EPD Registration Fee: This involves administrative fees for the EPD certification authority.
- EPD Maintenance Fee: This encompasses administrative fees for the EPD certification authority's maintenance.
Required Documents for EPD Certification
- Company profile, including the company's business license.
- Product description for the application, including production process flowcharts.
- LCA survey forms, containing data on the breakdown of raw materials, transportation, energy consumption during whole product manufacturing, product distribution, usage, and disposal.
- Documentation of material and energy consumption.
- Other necessary relevant documentations.
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