The construction industry is evolving. Carbon efficiency and transparency are becoming increasingly important factors in investment and procurement decisions, with Environmental Product Declarations (EPDs) frequently assisting decision-making. An EPD can help you stand out from the competitors as a construction product producer.
Life-cycle assessment (LCA) is used in EPDs to evaluate and describe a product’s long-term environmental impact. They provide an objective, credible, and neutral review because they are third-party verified and based on international standards. A manufacturer’s commitment to measuring and publicly declaring environmental effect in an accessible format is demonstrated through the creation of an EPD.
Environmental Product Declarations (EPDs) are an important validation tool for both manufacturers and specifiers, as they provide transparent data regarding the environmental sustainability of their goods. Despite this, the industry’s understanding of the nature and purpose of EPDs is still lacking.
An environmental product declaration (EPD) is a document that contains life-cycle inventory data and provides a transparent summary of a product’s environmental impact, often from ‘cradle to grave.’ The extraction of raw materials, the manufacturing process, distribution, the product’s use, and its end-of-life value, such as whether it can be recycled or reused, will all be considered in this Life Cycle Assessment (LCA). Steel is an example of a highly sustainable building material that has properties that are well-suited to circular economic use and can be reused and indefinitely recycled without losing quality.
EPD’s Crucial to Embodied Carbon Reduction – Around 39% of the world’s annual CO2 emissions are attributed to buildings and construction. Embodied carbon emissions from the extraction and manufacture of products – accounts for 11% of this total.
Operational emissions, such as the energy necessary to heat, light, or cool a structure, have long been the focus of green building efforts. However, the World Green Building Council stated in 2019 that embodied carbon must be severely reduced. As a result, the environmental impact of construction products and materials is given more attention.
In their 2019 report, Bringing Embodied Carbon Upfront, the World Green Building Council set two bold targets:
* By 2030, all new buildings, including infrastructure and renovation projects will have at least 40% less embodied carbon.
* By 2050, new buildings, infrastructure and renovations will have net zero embodied carbon.
EPDs are designed to help with the embodied carbon challenge by making the environmental impact of products and materials more obvious so that efforts may be made to mitigate it. Their status as independently certified papers governed by international laws and standards means they are generally acknowledged and viewed with confidence and reliability across the construction industry.