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Jul

17, 2017

7th InData meeting held in Norway

The 7th meeting of the InData working group was held in Norway in June. The Secretariat joined the meeting as part of its ongoing pilot to test making EPDs available in machine-readable format, and to contribute to international harmonization of data formats and data quality. The other participants came from Norway, Germany and Spain.

The topic of machine-readable EPDs and their applications will be one of the main themes of this year's EPD International Stakeholder Conference on September 20th in London. The presentations will include information about InData, using EPDs in BIM and using EPDs in building certification schemes.

Links:

 

Jun

30, 2017

Draft version 3 of the General Programme Instructions available for open consultation

GPI

To to stay up to date with the latest developments and best practices in standardisation, methodology, research and applications of EPDs the General Programme Instructions of the International EPD® System are currently being updated to version 3.0

This draft document is available for open consultation from 2017-06-30 until 2017-08-30 to allow any stakeholder to provide feedback on the development of the International EPD® System.

The draft and instruction for how to comment are available on this page.

Jun

27, 2017

Registration open: 5th EPD International Stakeholder Conference on September 20th

EPD Stakeholder Conference London. (c) Freeimages.com/Nimalan Tharmalingam

Registration is now open to the 5th EPD International Stakeholder Conference. More information and a link to register is available on this page.

The EPD International Stakeholder Conference 2017 will take place in London, United Kingdom, on Wednesday, September 20th 2017. The event is expected to gather EPD stakeholders from industry, academia and others sectors for a chance to meet and learn about the latest developments in the world of Environmental Product Declarations.

The two main themes of the event will be:

  • Machine-readable EPDs and their applications
  • International harmonization efforts for LCA-based declarations

The event is free, but the number of participants is limited.

 

Links

Jun

19, 2017

Research project investigates possibilities for market-based benchmarks based on EPDs

A lack of trustworthy approaches to interpret and compare LCA data is sometimes seen as a barrier for further EPD diffusion and use. With the declaration of the impact of a single product, how should the reader know if it is“better” or “worse” than competing products in the same product category?

In a new multi-year research project, funded by the Swedish Energy Agency, an approach to develop benchmarks is tested based on actual LCA-data as they appear on the market in registered EPD´s. The project is carried out by IVL Swedish Environmental Research Institute and focuses on the EPD database of the International EPD® system, currently containing more than 700 registered EPDs from organisations in 36 countries.

The first statistical analysis of some data sets indicates that the true distribution curves seem to be more identified as “skewed distribution”. If further statistical analysis show that true distribution curves for several product categories seldom are normal (sigmoid shaped) quite a new approach has to be taken to guide users on how to interpret and compare EPD-information in the future.

For more information about the research project, please contact sven-olof.ryding@ivl.se or sebastian.welling@ivl.se

Jun

6, 2017

Secretariat remains open during summer

Photo: Kristian Jelse, Used with permission

In 2017, the EPD International Secretariat will remain open during the summer period (July-August). As individual staff members may be off, please use info@environdec.com for all questions during this period.

We wish you all a pleasant summer!

Jun

2, 2017

Updated terminology and structure of construction product PCRs

Main PCR structure for construction products

The terminology around construction product PCRs has been updated to make it more clear and consistent with recent developments in standardisation:

  • PCR 2012:01 Construction products and construction services. This is the main implementation of the standard EN 15804, and may be used to create EPDs for all construction products with two limitations: a declared unit is used and the scope is limited to cradle-to-gate (with options).
  • PCR 2012:01 + Sub-PCRs. Using the general PCR complemented with a short "sub-PCR" for a specific product category, EPDs with a functional unit and cradle-to-grave scope may be published.

The relevant PCR and sub-PCRs have been updated with this new terminology.

Sub-PCRs are also planned to be the main way to implement "PCR standards" complementing EN 15804 developed by CEN Product Technical Committees. The Secretariat has initiated such sub-PCRs for all published and some upcoming "PCR standards" and will start a discussion with PCR moderators of existing PCR moderators in case of an overlap in scope.

In addition to this main structure, there are also stand-alone PCR documents for construction products:

  • Stand-alone PCRs compliant with EN 15804
  • Stand-alone PCRs not compliant with EN 15804

These exist mainly for legacy reasons and may be relevant to replace with sub-PCRs, when updated, on a case-to-case basis.

 

Links:

May

30, 2017

Save the date: 5th EPD International Stakeholder Conference on September 20th

EPD Stakeholder Conference London. (c) Freeimages.com/Nimalan Tharmalingam

The EPD International Stakeholder Conference 2017 will take place in London, United Kingdom, on Wednesday, September 20th 2017. Following successful events in Bologna, Stockholm, Bordeaux and Milan, the event is expected to gather EPD stakeholders from industry, academia and others sectors for a chance to meet and learn about the latest developments in the world of Environmental Product Declarations.

Save the date in your calendar. More information and the possibility to register for the event will come soon.

May

25, 2017

Case study of the Swedish Transport Administration

Trafikverket Case Study

Trafikverket is responsible for the overall long-term infrastructure planning of road, rail, sea and air transport in Sweden. Since a few years they work with LCA calculations in new construction of roads and railways. The Swedish government has high ambitions to make Sweden climate neutral to 2045 at latest.

“Climate change is a very urgent matter that has real consequences already here and now, but that will be much worse if we do not reduce GHG emissions to zero in the middle of the century. In the instruction for our administration it is clear that we shall contribute to this goal.”

Trafikverket have therefore set up a vision to have a climate neutral infrastructure to 2045. The goals towards the vision is to reduce the emissions by 15 percent to 2020 and 30 percent to 2025.

“These goals are transformed into procurement criteria’s that our contractors have to fulfil. If they perform even better, there is possibility to get bonus. Our climate calculation tool “Klimatkalkyl” is used for calculating the initial baseline for a certain project and to verify that the contractors fulfil the reduction requirements regarding greenhouse gas emissions.”

For Trafikverket EPD is a good tool to use in the construction of infrastructure, there life cycle perspective is necessary when focusing on the transport infrastructure, as the emissions do not necessarily occur during the construction phase.

“In many cases the emissions from the production of material are significant. An important measure in order to decrease the emissions from transport infrastructure is therefore to use material with better environmental performance. EPDs are required in order to verify the emissions of greenhouse gases for the material used. By requiring EPDs based on EN 15804, we can ensure that all materials in all our projects are evaluated on the same basis.”

Trafikverkets work is based on life cycle perspective that can be implemented in several ways. Trafikverket think that extensive case studies can be used for developing knowledge on a more general basis, to govern policy decisions. But how have they proceeded?

“Life cycle calculations may be used in each single project to govern case specific decisions, such as the choice of construction design and material supplier. To make that feasible we found it important to provide background LCA data and a calculations tool that is easy to use for non-LCA experts that can ensure that the same system boundaries are used regardless of the project type.”  

“Therefore we developed the tool “Klimatkalkyl”. We also found it necessary to make some simplifications, especially in the early planning stages of a project, when still not that much information is available on the use of different materials. Therefore the tool Klimatkalkyl provide  resource templates for different type measures or construction components. In the early planning we accept a high level of uncertainty as we consider it as being better than having no estimates at all. As the project proceeds, the templates are substituted by case specific information and the preciseness of the results increases.”

Trafikverkets recommendation for those who wants to implement life cycle thinking, is to not underestimate the effort it takes to communicate and implement the new practice within the organization. Developing a model is just one part of the work and to implement it in the work processes and the steering documents is also important. Communication is a key to success.

In Sweden Trafikverket has got positive respons from the Swedis companies, since they started to set requirements.  

“We have examples where companies start working with LCA-calculations and EPDs to be able to declare and improve their climate performance. There is a growing knowledge about climate impact from the construction and maintenance of infrastructure. Increased knowledge and awareness is a good start for making the necessary improvements.”

 

Links:

May

23, 2017

First EPD® registrations from Chile in the International EPD® System

EPD map

Gerdau has become the first company to register Environmental Product Declarations from Chile in the International EPD® System. The EPDs transparently declare the environmental impacts of reinforced steel bars and steel profiles based on Life Cycle Assessment (LCA). The EPD was verified by approved independent verifier Alejandro Pablo Arena.

With the addition of EPDs from Chile, there are now EPDs registered in 36 countries in the International EPD® System. The EPDs were registered via EPD Latin America, the local contacts of the International EPD® System for EPD registrations, helpdesk and marketing of EPDs in Mexico and Chile

Links:

May

10, 2017

Pilot launched to test EPDs in machine-readable formats

Database

The interest for the providing the EPD (or a subset of it) in a data format that may be directly imported into different IT tools, databases or LCA software has been growing recently. This is especially the case for the construction sector, where there are now thousands of EPDs available on the market, and the interest is growing for using the information in, e.g., certification systems, Building Information Modelling (BIM) and modelling tools.

The International EPD® System recently launched a pilot test of one of the format solutions available on the market. The pilot is based an extended version of the ILCD data format, and may be aligned with other international developments, e.g. in the InData working group.

The usability and feasability of such a system is depending on the benefit it provides to EPD owners and how well it fits different potential uses of the information. To ensure that the developments are consistent with the international expectations and demands, stakeholders are kindly requested to contact the Secretariat with any feedback, or to contribute in other ways.

Mar

30, 2017

thyssenkrupp Elevator publish first EPD of a lift in the International EPD® System

EPD

The first EPD® of a lift has been registered and published in the International EPD® System by thyssenkrupp Elevator. The EPD® declares the environmental impacts over the life cycle of the endura Machine-room less (MRL) elevator in the North American context.

The EPD® has undergone verification by an approved individual verifier, Dr. Thomas P Gloria, based on the General Programme Instructions and the Product Category Rules (PCR) for lifts, published in 2015.

More information:

Mar

9, 2017

Experiences from EPD presented at Nordic workshop on PEF

Francisco Lupianez Villanueva presenting an overview of the PEF pilot communication phase

A fully-booked Nordic Workshop on the European Commission's Product Environmental Footprint (PEF) initiative was held in Stockholm, Sweden on February 27th. The workshop was organised by the Nordic Environmental Footprint group, IVL Swedish Environmental Research Institute and Swedish Lifecycle Center.

Besides getting the latest updates on the process and experiences from the pilots, the aim was to discuss four main themes:

  1. Product segment structure (granularity of scope)
  2. Impact assessment
  3. Weighting
  4. Use of PEF for different applications

The experiences from EPD in terms of what product categories to include in the same PCR was presented as part of the first theme, and the use of PEF for ISO-based declarations and labelling was discussed in plenum by representatives from industry, public procurement and ecolabelling.

The results of the workshop will be made available as input to the last year of the PEF pilot phase, which after some delays will end in December 2017. The pilot process will then be evaluated and peer-reviewed. A discussion will be initiated in 2018 whether the proposed method is suitable for policy and in what way, and may be in place by 2021.

Links:

 

Photo by Marie Hedberg of Francisco Lupianez Villanueva presenting an overview of the PEF pilot communication phase.

Mar

7, 2017

Job opportunity: Business development manager and project manager

There is an increasing global interest to develop and use Environmental Product Declarations (EPD) to communicate life cycle based environmental performance of products. To continue to build and contribute to this global trend, IVL Swedish Environmental Research Institute is looking for a full time project manager to take on the part-time role of Business development manager at the International EPD® System, run by its subsidiary EPD International AB.

The role is to combine business development with managing projects related to EPD and life cycle management, as well as projects for further development of the EPD applications, databases, sector guidance and communication support.

For more information and to apply, visit http://www.ivl.se/english/startpage/top-menu/career/vacant-positions.html

Mar

1, 2017

Machine-redable EPDs and their use discussed in Vienna

Kristian Jelse

In February, two events were held in Vienna, Austria related to EPDs for construction products. The first was a workshop on the topic of "The missing link between EPD and BIM (Building Information Modelling)", and the second a meeting of the working group InData, which aims at providing machine-readable EPDs for further import into different calculation tools.

We met with Kristian Jelse who participated to the events on behalf of the International EPD® System to get the latest updates:

What are "machine-readable EPDs"?
"Machine-readable EPDs" (sometimes rather confusingly referred to as "digital EPDs") is the concept of providing the EPD or a subset of it in a data format that may be directly imported into different IT tools, databases or LCA software.

The interest for the topic has been growing recently, mainly in the construction sector where there are now thousands of EPDs available on the market. Besides the existing standard EN 15942, an initiative has been taken in ISO and in research projects in different countries that will hopefully result in a standardised digital format for including all information in an EPD in a machine-readable format.

 

What does the International EPD® System offer in terms of machine-readable EPDs today?
If an EPD owner wishes, the International EPD® System allow the publication of a machine-readable LCI/LCIA dataset in parallel to the EPD. Such data sets made are available on the EPD page at www.environdec.com and may be published in one or several of the available formats currently available on the market. Many LCA software provide import/export functionality that may be used for this purpose.

We are also evaluating how we can further facilitate the use of EPDs on the market by working in this area.

 

What are the problems that need to be solved before all EPDs are available in a machine-readable format?
I see three main issues to solve, beside agreeing on a format to use:

1. The ownership and liability of an EPD lies with the manufacturer. This means that programme operators, database owners, and tool developer etc., have limitations in how they may commercially distribute these data.

2. The validity of the data in an EPD is dependent not only on the stated validity in the EPD, but requires that the EPD owner monitors the environmental impact and updates the EPD if necessary. The role of the programme operator remains very important to avoid incorrect data being distributed and used, leading to invalid conclusions.

3. An EPD contains more information than the quantified environmental impacts. How to ensure that this qualitative information is distributed with the EPD so that the data is not misused or misunderstood?

 

How can a stakeholder contribute to this development?
Besides participating in standardisation and working groups, I would encourage EPD owners and users of EPD information to provide their feedback to the Secretariat.

It is part of the objective of the International EPD® System to broaden the use environmental declarations on an international market, and this will be a topic in which we are active in the upcoming year.

Feb

28, 2017

First EPD® registration from Hungary in the International EPD® System

EPD map

Saint-Gobain Construction Products Hungary Kft has become the first company to register Environmental Product Declarations from Hungary in the International EPD® System. The EPDs transparently declares the environmental impacts of different gypsum boards based on Life Cycle Assessment (LCA). The EPD was verified by approved independent verifier Andrew Norton.

With the addition of an EPD from Hungary, there are now EPDs registered in 35 countries in the International EPD® System.

Links: