Improving Environmental Product Declarations (EPDs)
Improving comparability of EPDs by supplementing their numerical information with a normalised graphical presentation, improving completeness by requiring a generic minimum list of mandatory impact categories, and improving reliability and comparability through the use of one common database using consequential modelling are three key recommendations in our report on “Consumer demands on Type III environmental declarations”.
The study was performed in 2005-2006 and was commissioned by ANEC. ANEC represents the consumer organisations from the European Union and European Free Trade Association (EFTA) countries. The recommendations are intended to support ANEC’s input to the political debate on Integrated Product Policy and into European and international standardisation work.
The report includes 10 example EPDs, based on generic LCAs, demonstrating how the recommendations can be implemented in practice.
Making it easier for Small and Medium-Sized Enterprises (SMEs) to produce EPDs for their products was the focus of the EU-CRAFT project “Stepwise EPD” in which we participated. The project developed a method that quickly and at low cost can be used for marketing and eco-design.
The method for stepwise EPD was tested in ten SMEs in Denmark, Latvia, Portugal and Sweden. Research institutes in respective countries aided the SMEs with the life cycle assessment and the EPD. The project brought together SMEs and other stakeholders to investigate and discuss the assumption that doing an EPD furthers both sales, through opening for green marketing possibilities, and product environmental performance, through identifying eco-design options.