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EPDs 101: The making of an EPD
Product Category Rules (PCRs) are a set of rules, requirements and guidelines for conducting assessments of environmental impacts of a particular category of products.
PCRs ensure that products of the same type are evaluated consistently for a meaningful comparison of results.
PCRs provide the instructions for conducting LCAs and reporting the information in EPDs.
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Life Cycle Assessment (LCA) is the method used to assess and report environmental impacts of a product throughout the stage stages of its life -from raw material extraction through materials processing, manufacture, distribution, use, repair and maintenance, and disposal or recycling.
This method takes into account full environmental impacts, not just impact during use.
An Environmental Product Declaration (EPD) is a comprehensive, internationally-harmonized report that documents the ways in which a product, throughout its lifecycle, impacts the environment.
EPDs summarize and report the LCA results according to the instructions in the PCR, and are verified by an independent third-party.
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Benefits to your business
With many new construction projects chasing LEED credits and Health and Wellness certifications, a project bid that does not include products that help a building reach its sustainability goals may not be accepted. EPDs provide a way for you to reach new markets demanding transparency reporting but can also provide invaluable insights to your business from data collected during the environmental product declaration process.
Environmental Product Declarations:
A path to help meet LEED & sustainability goals
Environmental Product Declarations (EPDs), recognized as a path to acquiring up to two points towards LEED certification, can help you communicate a product’s environmental impact throughout its life cycle to end-users, architects, designers and consultants.
The commercial building industry is moving toward a sustainable future and having just energy efficient products will not meet the new demands. With more purchasing guidelines, green building rating systems, and public procurement programs adding requirements for transparency reporting such as EPDs, manufacturers will find more demand for sustainably designed products and material disclosures from building owners and facility managers. See how LEED 4.1 and California’s Buy Clean Act are driving demand for EPDs.
The business case for EPDs
What is an Environmental Product Declaration?
Ready to maximize the value of your existing EPD?
Learn about EPD Optimization, available exclusively from UL.>>
California 262 Buy Clean Act 262
As a provision of the California Buy Clean Act, which pledges to spend California tax dollars on products that cut pollution, reduce climate change risk and champion sustainability, EPDs will be required for some categories of products that will be considered during the procurement cycle in the state of CA.
LEED v4.1's EPD credit requires 20 EPDs from 5 different manufacturers to ensure that environmental impact data is available on the marketplace. The credit also has an option that allows for credit when choosing products that have less of an environmental impact.
Gain comprehensive insight into your products’ environmental impacts, supply chain performance, potential risks, and establish a baseline for continual improvement.
Give your products a marketplace by meeting or exceeding environmental reporting criteria as specified in an array of procurement policies and green building rating systems like LEED.
Establish trust with customers, government agencies and other stakeholders regarding company’s environmental performance today and over time.
According to a survey conducted by the Shelton Group and UL, 77 percent of business buyers said products with third party certification are more reputable. An overwhelming 89 percent said they are willing to pay more for products certified by a third party. Driven by the growing demand for transparency in purchasing guidelines, green building rating standards and state and federal guidelines, EPDs are quickly becoming the standard for providing meaningful insight into products’ environmental impacts throughout their complete lifecycle.
Trust begins with transparency
An EPD is an internationally-accepted, published report designed to tell the complete story when it comes to a product’s comprehensive environmental impacts. Offering clear and meaningful insights into a product’s impact on atmosphere, water and earth, EPDs provide fundamental transparency that is the foundation for trust in environmental claims.
EPDs allow you to showcase your sustainability accomplishments in clear comparison with other offerings of the same category, today and over time.
EPDs are the result of a thorough, multi-step process designed to evaluate environmental impacts. Explore the components and process required to produce an EPD.
Learn more about UL's EPD services
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More and more purchasing guidelines, green building rating systems and public procurement programs include requirements for transparency reporting like that provided by EPDs.
See how LEED 4.1 and California’s Buy Clean Act are driving demand for EPDs.
A leader in advancing sustainability, UL is constantly developing new capabilities, collaborating to develop new PCRs for additional categories of products, and new, more rigorous standards for safety, security and sustainability.
For more than 125 years, UL has been a trusted provider of third-party evaluations and certifications to ensure a safer world.
Introducing the world's first EPD Optimization Program
Always striving to achieve what’s next in the pursuit of a safer, more sustainable world, UL has developed the EPD Optimization Program.
EPD Optimization enables manufacturers to make their existing Environmental Product Declarations (EPDs) even more valuable by providing insight into a products’ reduced environmental impacts in comparison with the category average or previous product versions. Let us help tell the story of how you are creating more sustainable products through product design improvements, dematerialization, process and supply chain efficiencies, and other initiatives.
Contact UL to get started today