Last 8th of April a conference was held on Life Cycle Assessment, Environmental Product Declarations and calculation of Carbon Footprint, organized by the Consejería de Economía y Hacienda through its Dirección General de Industria, Energía y Minas and the Fundación de la Energía de la Comunidad de Madrid. This conference is intended to continue the path initiated through the events held throughout 2014 on this subject, where the importance of communicating and reduce the impact of products, services and companies objectively and rigorously has been highlighted.
The conference was inaugurated by the General Director of Industry, Energy and Mines, Carlos López Jimeno, who encouraged representatives of private sector companies in the room to continue contributing ideas and proposals that make Madrid an international model in matters concerning measures to help improve energy saving and efficiency in the region, such as the tools presented during the day, which can enhance the competitiveness of enterprises by improving their performance and sustainability.
After this brief opening, interventions of the speakers started. Thus, Grao de Sarriá of Marcel Gómez Consultoria Ambiental conducted a review of the evolution of Environmental Product Declarations (EPD) in the Spanish and the international markets, by reviewing the definition and applications of Life Cycle Assessment and how it is has been introduced gradually as a tool for increasing product’s value in the market.
Meanwhile, Aitor Aragón of AENOR, gave his opinion on which are the motivations of companies to conduct an EPD, demonstrating the importance of verified EPDs specially by the robustness represented by the certifying entity and especially for ensure recognition of the declaration at the international level.
From Green Building Council of Spain assisted Manuel Macias, who spoke on EPDs and its value in environmental certification of buildings LEED and VERDE, followed by Miguel García as representative of CEPCO, who made a brief but intense intervention, making a legislative review and indicating that type III environmental declarations are the best tool for comprehensive environmental information products emphasizing that all environmental information has to be included in an EPD, and these must be easily recognizable among different management systems available.
After this first session of presentations, a discussion was about the difficulty of comparing construction products using for this only their EPDs generated. End user needs to compare similar products for their decision making, and EPDs are being used for this purpose. Speakers explained to the assistants to the conference that EPDs are valid to compare functional units of product under strict conditions, following the same standards and methodology.
The session after the break focused on how different business sectors are facing the implementation of EPDs. Nicolás Bermejo from ISOVER SAINT-GOBAIN, made a new and entertaining review of the concepts of the main theme of the day. Arturo Alarcón of IECA and Eugenio García from Sostenibilidad Siderúrgica done so in the cement and steel sectors, respectively. Antonio Burgueño from FCC followed, with the evaluation of sustainability in civil engineering. Antonio pointed that EPDs is not a product evaluation tool because he argues is complex and subjective, but they are a way to normalize and standardize the information that is available in a common and transparent language.
The session ended with the intervention of Rocío Fernández from ACCIONA, presenting their experiences regarding the implementation of measures quantifying and communicating sustainability in civil engineering, in which she outlined that EPDs, together with LCA, are communication tools that can be used to learn and improve business processes.
The hall, which seats for 140 people, was almost full with representatives of companies from various sectors, demonstrating the growing interest in this subject. Highlighting the delivery to attendees of the Guide on Environmental Product Declaration and Carbon Footprint Calculation edited by the Comunidad de Madrid, which counts among its authors with several of the speakers of the session.
Text for this news bulletin was kindly provided by Marcel Gómez Consultoria Ambiental.