LCA and EPD Tools

Outsourcing and insourcing of EPDs

When the demand for more and more product/project specific EPDs grows, building in-house LCA capacity and by investing in digital tools and platforms becomes an economically interesting & sustainable option.

Manufacturers frequently respond to initial EPD requests by hiring external LCA consultants who manage the LCA and EPD process. However, a 2017 (CIRP) report indicates that the outsourcing of the EPD development costs an organisation somewhere between ten (10) and thirty (30) thousand US dollars per EPD. These (cash-out) costs include the lifecycle assessment cost, the third-party verification and the registration/publication cost. In-kind cost for data collection and preparation at the manufacturer are excluded.

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There is empirical evidence that indicates that in-house development and making use of digital solutions/tools makes delivering EPDs faster and more cost-efficient, when demand for EPDs grow. And do not forget, your first EPD will always the toughest, the next ones come at lower cost and effort!

Pre-verified EPD Tools

A pre-verified EPD tool contains data and calculation models to simplify the LCA calculation procedure based on a reference PCR. It is pre-verified to ensure that it produces correct data, given the correct input.

Please note that while using a pre-verified EPD tool simplifies the procedure for developing an EPD, it does not replace the need for verification according to Section 7 in the General Programme Instructions.

Data generated using the EPD tool may be considered equivalent to specific or selected generic data, and do not need further verification during the verification of the EPD. This will reduce the time needed by the EPD verifier as part of his/her job is already performed, and is, thus, expected to reduce the cost for verification of an EPD.

The EPD verifier shall ensure that data uploaded in the EPD tool are in line with the verified LCA core model implemented in the tool. The verification report shall include information on what data were uploaded to the tool to produce the EPD.

Current approved pre-verified EPD tools:

  • GCCA tool (formerly WBCSD-CSI tool)

PCR: concrete
Approval: 2014
Valid until: 2021-12-31
Verifier: Maurizio Fieschi
Contact at: https://gccassociation.org/ and http://www.wbcsdcement.org/PCR

EPD Process Certification

With EPD process certification, the organisation may handle the management of EPD data involved in the verification procedure by themselves and issue EPDs without a third-party verifier being involved in each case.

To simplify the process for organisations in collecting data, conducting LCAs, and developing EPDs on a large scale, the International EPD® System includes the option of EPD Process Certification. The rationale for certified process is that well-managed internal EPD routines make data collection and its conversion into EPDs more rational and less resource-intense and time-consuming.

With EPD process certification, the organisation may handle the management of EPD data involved in the verification procedure by themselves and issue EPDs without a third-party verifier being involved in each case.

An organisation that has an EPD process certification assessed and certified by an accredited body on a regular basis, is allowed to:

  • develop and issue new EPDs for registration and publication at www.environdec.com, and
  • update published EPDs.

For more information on Process Certification, please consult chapter 7.5 of GPI 4.0 currently under consultation for planning or the current GPI (3.01) for reference a/o contact the Secretariat..

GPI 4.0

GPI 3.01

More information can be found in the GPI

Learn more