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Compiling environmental information

Compiling environmental information into the EPD reporting format

The output format of an EPD is a PDF document containing the required information as mandated by the General Programme Instructions and the relevant Product Category Rules.

Besides the LCA results, an EPD can encompass other types of relevant information in the EPD making the declaration a carrier of a much wide aspect of environmental information of specific value for an organisation.

The format for reporting LCA based and other information in an EPD is described in the relevant PCR. The common layout of EPDs is usually divided into separate parts, including:

  • Cover page (voluntary)
  • Programme-related information
  • Product-related information
  • Content declaration
  • Environmental performance-related information 
  • Additional inormation
  • Mandatory statements
  • Executive summary in English (in case of EPD only published in another language)

A template for EPDs is available for download here. The use of this template is voluntary, and offered as a service to those developing an EPD. The template is generic for non-construction products, and the rules about EPD contents in the specific PCR shall always be obeyed.

Cover page. The EPD® cover page (if existent) shall as a minimum include relevant information about the product, such as name and an image, the EPD® logotype, EPD registration number, date of publication, date of validity and revision number.

Reference to the PCR used and the geographical validity may also be relevant to include on the cover page.

Programme-related information shall include, for example, name of the EPD programme, the reference PCR document, registration number, date of publication and validity, geographical scope and reference to relevant websites.          

Product-related information shall include, for example, unequivocal identification of the product according to the CPC classification system, description of the intended use, a technical descripton of the product in terms of functional characteristics and the relevant funtional or declared unit.

Content declaration covering relevant materials and substances. 

Environmental performance-related  information is the part of the declaration describing the LCA-based information. It shall contain information on the resource use both renwable and non-renwable ones, the emission of pollutants and the associated potential environmental impact (e.g. global warming, photochemical oxidant creation, acidification and eutrophication), and on waste generation. Impact is presented in the life cycle stages upstream (cradle-to-gate), core (gate-to-gate) and downstream processes.

Addtional information may contain additional environmental information not derived from the LCA-based calculations, e.g. information about the company, its overall work with management systems, supply chain management, work with social responsibility etc., but also on product development and/or data about specific environmental characteristics of the product.

Mandatory statements shall include information about any omission of life cycle stages, means of obtaining explanatory materials, a statement indicating that EPDs from different programmes may not be comparable and a box describing the verification procedure.

Executive summary in English. EPD®s can be published on several languages, but if the EPD® document is not available in English, the organisation shall provide a summary in English including the main content of the EPD® to be available on the website.

The contents in the EPD must be in line with the requirements and guidelines in ISO 14020. Any environmental claims based on the EPD is recommended to meet the requirements in ISO 14021 and national legislation and best available practices in the markets in which it will be used. The international standard ISO 14021 states that only environmental claims that can be supported by up-to-date and documented facts may be used. Vague claims, such as "environmentally friendly" should be avoided.