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Preparation Phase

The preparation phase includes the following elements:

1. Use of relevant PCR Basic Module as guidelines and PCR template
2. Identify the pre-set categories of parameters to be included in the EPD
3. Specify the LCA-based content of the PCR document
4. Select relevant additional environmental information
5. Quality check before consultation

PCR Basic Modules

The PCR Basic Modules gives guidance on how to prepare PCRs within a certain product category (two-digit CPC code), and act as templates for PCR development. They can not be used as PCRs directly.

The available PCR Basic Modules may be find in the EPD Search.

Use of relevant PCR Basic Module as guidelines and PCR template

The International EPD® System has introduced PCR Basic Modules to provide guidance for the PCR development. As described in Annex B the PCR Basic Modules are categorised according to the CPC two digit level. When developing a PCR, the relevant CPC-code(s), on three, four or five digit level should be identified according to Section 3.1.

The PCR-Basic Module contains the information needed to develop a PCR within that specific CPC-code, some of the text can be used directly and some text needs to be defined in the PCR. The document is intended to be used as a template for PCR development and is available via www.environdec.com.

Identify the pre-set categories of parameters in the EPD®

The International EPD® System describes a minimum set of pre-set categories of parameters applicable to all product categories. These categories of parameters might be supplemented by other categories of parameters if found relevant to the product group under consideration. The complete set of pre-set categories of parameters may not therefore be identical for all product categories. Pre-set categories of parameters may also include other data not derived from the life cycle inventory/LCA-based calculations which are to be reported as additional environmental data. The PCR Basic Module can provide some guidance on which categories to use.

Specify the LCA-based content of the PCR document

Most of the information included in an EPD is derived from LCA-based calculation. It is therefore important that a PCR document covers the relevant key LCA information, such as:

  • choice and definition of functional unit or declared unit,
  • choice and description of system boundaries,
  • choice of specific cut-off criteria,
  • choice of allocation rules,
  • choice of underlying data, to indicate specific and generic data used,
  • choice of selected parameters for description of environmental performance (additional to the ones described to be included in the general format),
  • selection of a specific database if some data are very significant for the final result.

The preparation of PCRs shall focus on these issues that are complementary to the General Programme Instructions and specific to the product category under study.

In accordance with ISO 14025, the PCR shall be based on one or more life cycle assessments conducted in accordance with ISO 14044 and other relevant studies. This includes any supporting studies performed in parallel to PCR development. The PCR Committee should review relevant scientific papers available or submitted during the preparation, as appropriate. The final PCR shall reference the supporting studies, but they do not have to be made public.

To ensure coordination across related PCRs in the same supply chain, a PCR Coordinator has been appointed for certain product sectors such as the food and agricultural sector. The coordinator will assist the programme operator in suggesting alignment efforts between PCRs.

Select relevant additional environmental information

The EPD shall include, where relevant, additional environmental information, e.g.:

  • Data that are not part of the LCA study
  • Information on existing management systems or other certification programmes applied to the product
  • Information on preferred waste management options
  • Information on activities related to Social Responsibility

For more information about issues to consider, see the General Programme Instructions.

Quality check before consultation

The Secretariat will check the final draft before the open consultation to ensure that no obvious contradictions to these programme instructions exists, make editorial changes and suggest improvements for clarity.