Environmental Product Declarations
What is Environmental Product Declaration (EPD)?
An Environmental Product Declaration (EPD) is a transparent way of communicating a Life Cycle Assessment (LCA) of the environmental impacts of a product in a common format based on common rules. Construction products are assessed using a single set of Product Category Rules (PCR) ensuring consistent reporting for similar products. EPD for construction products in Europe use the European Standard, EN 15804, as their PCR, to ensure that the information is provided using the same LCA rules, with the same environmental indicators, and in a way that means the information for lots of different products can be brought together to provide the environmental impacts for a building. EPD should always be independently verified by an expert familiar with the product category.
Government and private sector expectations about the quality and availability of EPD’s are growing and becoming more important.
Life Cycle Analysis (LCA), EPD’s and other social and environmental data are used by construction material certifications to provide confidence to construction clients and public procurement processes that sustainability impacts are understood and systems and processes are being managed to improve performance and reduce negative impacts.
CARES EPD Programme
As an independent not for profit company CARES can guarantee an independent and impartial review and the unrivalled knowledge provided by our specialist team. The CARES Sustainability Scheme comprises independent validation of carbon footprint data and issuing Company Specific and Sector Average verified EPD’s to EN 15804 by using an advanced and verified EN 15804 LCA calculator.
Further to CARES validation of the data, BRE Global provide an additional, 3rd party and independent, layer of verification with all EPD reports published on BRE Global’s ‘GreenBookLive’ website.
What makes CARES EPD’s more accurate?
- EN 15804 allows 5 years validity from EPD issue date, but CARES verified EPD’s are valid for only 3 years to enable manufacturing performance to be measured more frequently
- CARES verified EPD’s are valid only for one or very similar products
- CARES verified EPD’s are valid only for a specific production route
- CARES verified EPD’s are valid only for a specific manufacturing site
- GWP data from the EPD's is available through the CARES Digital Record
CARES Company Specific verified EPD
A Company Specific EPD is based on a valid PCR and describing the life cycle environmental impact of one or very similar products - from one single manufacturer.
The types of products that can be covered by CARES EPD tool include:
Carbon Steel Reinforcing Steel, Structural Steel, Stainless Steel Reinforcing Steel, Prestressing Wire and Strand
The type of EPD developed by CARES for Carbon Reinforcing Steel, Stainless Reinforcing Steel, PC Wire and PC Strand cover all life cycle stages namely “Product Stage”, “Construction Process Stage”, “Use Stage”, “End-of-Life Stage” and “Benefits and Loads beyond the System Boundary”. This EPD is said to be achieving the max available credits through “cradle-to-gate-with-options” mechanism (Modules A1 to D).
Hot Rolled Flat Steel and Feedstock Coil for Further Processing
The type of EPD developed by CARES for Hot Rolled Flat Steel (e.g. Strip, Plates) and Feedstock Coil for Further Processing cover life cycle stages namely “Product Stage” and “Benefits and Loads beyond the System Boundary”. This EPD is said to be achieving the max available credits through “cradle-to-gate-with-options” mechanism (Modules A1-3 plus D).
CARES Sector Average verified EPD
A Sector Average EPD is developed by an industry association and declares the average product of multiple companies in a clearly defined sector and/or geographical area.
CARES Sector Average verified EPD is an average of participant companies producing Carbon Reinforcing Steel via Scrap / Electric Arc Furnace route.
If the availability of the CARES Company Specific verified EPD is limited, then CARES Sector Average verified EPD can be used by construction clients.
The sector average EPD can most usefully be used at the design stage to estimate the likely upfront embodied carbon of a project. When the actual project is built and the suppliers are known, this can be swapped for the company specific EPD values to get the most accurate values for each project.