Estimated time to read: 5 minutes
Growing demand for sustainability
In an era where environmental awareness is at an all-time high, customers will seek products that align with their eco-conscious values. As this demand for sustainability grows, a powerful tool has emerged to assist both consumers and manufacturers in their pursuit of greener choices: Environmental Product Declarations (EPDs). In this article, we dive into the realm of EPDs, exploring their nature and the benefits they provide to manufacturers. We explain why the importance and demand for EPDs are growing ever more nowadays.
What is an EPD
Environmental Product Declarations, in short EPDs, serve as comprehensive documents mapping the environmental impact of building materials across their entire lifecycle – from raw material extraction to disposal. To ensure the integrity of these reports, third-party verification is mandatory, providing credibility and trust in the information presented. Generally, an EPD is valid for five years.
There are two main parts an EPD consists of: the background report and the public part. The background report, which remains unpublished, delves into detailed calculation methods and granular material flows, encompassing confidential data, while the EPD document summarizes the main findings of the LCA understandably and is released for the public to see. Thus, you can be sure, that no confidential information is displayed for everyone to see.
Why investing in EPDs pays off for manufacturers
1. Customers expect transparency
In the current era dominated by discussions on climate change, businesses are increasingly focused on minimizing their environmental footprint. This heightened awareness extends to the construction sector, where companies are assessing the environmental impact of the materials they use. Therefore, they expect manufacturers, architects, project developers, and construction companies to provide them with such information. One effective way to fulfill this requirement is to use EPDs, PCFs, or LCAs, as they provide a comprehensive and trustworthy way to showcase the wanted information.
2. Upcoming construction product regulations require compliance
Alongside nations like Finland, France, Sweden, and the UK already limit allowed environmental impacts for new buildings. The Corporate Sustainability Reporting Directive (CDRD) was introduced in the European Union. This directive imposes an obligation on companies fulfilling certain criteria, to disclose their Scope Three material emissions. The criteria include having a balance sheet exceeding €20 million, net sales surpassing e40 million, or having more than 250 employees. Once two out of these three mentioned criteria are met, a company is obligated to file such a report. EPDs provide the required product information to comply with these new laws.
3. Increased trust among customers
EPDs must undergo third-party verification, thus the information they present remains resistant to manipulation. This characteristic renders EPDs an exceptional tool for benchmarking your products and standing out next to your competition and positioning yourself as a sustainability leader in the market before regulation requires you to do so. Consequently, this transparency can foster increased trust among potential customers, resulting in increased sales — often even if your service is more expensive than the competition.
4. Actionable support in reaching carbon reduction goals
Users of EPDs can benchmark the environmental impact of materials to check whether their current strategy aligns with set targets. Moreover, they can compare their performance to competitors and take appropriate action. If the goals are at risk of slipping away, this comparison provides a clear signal to take timely and targeted action.
EPDs are a crucial tool for manufacturers
Investing in EPDs is a strategic move for manufacturers in an environmentally conscious era. With customers demanding transparency and regulations tightening across Europe, EPDs provide a trusted tool for disclosing environmental impacts and become essential for compliance. Their third-party verification ensures trustworthiness, fostering customer confidence and facilitating benchmarking against competitors. Beyond compliance, EPDs prove instrumental in reaching carbon reduction goals by aligning strategies and prompting timely actions. In conclusion, EPDs are a vital asset, helping users become visible to project developers or planners seeking eco-friendly materials.
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