The concept of PCR Basic Modules
PCR Basic Modules
The work developing PCR documents is the probably most vital element to coordinate in a proper way. The International EPD®system has therefore introduced a PCR classification scheme building on a hierarchic approach to develop "PCR Basic Modules" in order to reduce the workload and associated costs for developing, carrying out consultations and approving PCRs. The main rationale of the approach taken is to simplify and harmonise PCRs work and to avoid market confusion and trade implications.
The United Central Product Classification, UN CPC, is a complete product classification scheme covering goods and services. It is based on the physical characteristics of goods or on the nature of the services rendered. Each type of good or service distinguished in the CPC is defined in such a way that it is normally produced by only one activity as defined in the International Standard Industrial Classification of all economic activities (ISIC Rev. 4).
The use of the CPC system leads to a structure for PCR documents in two dimensions:
- a “horizontal” dimension describing the product´s value chain divided according to business sectors, i.e. building on CPC-coded information modules, and
- a “vertical” dimension defining each information module (with a further delineation of each such section into subclasses).
The CPC concept forms the basis for a PCR structure to:
- provide a structure for industry specific PCR core modules, or rather the PCR core module and up-streams modules as well as down-streams modules within the product group system boundary, and
- open up for differentiated, but defined levels of requirements in the PCR document, i.e. part of the requirements may be applicable on a generic product group level, part of the requirements may be limited to selected individual products.
PCR Basic Modules make use of this option provided by the CPC concept, and are close to ready-made draft PCR documents with some information still lacking, but the lacking information is identified in the document.
The PCR Basic Module document includes:
- Text which is common for all full PCR documents regardless of product group, e.g. the introduction section
- Text including requirements which are common for all products which belong to the specified product group on UN CPC code two digit level, e.g. CPC Division 22: Dairy Products and Egg Products
- Identified specific requirements or information, written in italic, which must be decided upon on a more detailed level than the CPC Division level. In the final PCR document this detailed level could be anything from CPC three digit level to five digit level dependent on the level of the final PCR document. Thus, the information requested in italic shall be replaced by the relevant text, e.g. instead of the text “product group” in the PCR Basic Module document the final PCR document may read “transformers” in a PCR for transformers
The PCR Basic Module document provides a close to ready-made PCR document. Just decide upon and add the relevant information requested in italic.
Please note that since PCR Basic Modules are only templates for full PCRs, it is not possible to create and register an EPD which has been based on a PCR Basic Module.