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The topic of sustainability is becoming increasingly important, especially in the construction industry. Environmentally friendly buildings should already leave a low environmental footprint in the construction phase. For this reason, customers' need for information on environmental product declarations (EPDs) will continue to increase, and failure to know this can lead to a loss of orders.
In order to take these developments into account and to harmonize the results, various international standards for the environmental labeling of products have been developed. The relevant standards currently cover environmental labeling from the
Environmental label, seal authorized by independent party, dependent on fulfillment of certain criteria
Environmental vendor declaration/labeling without independent verification. These include Self Declaration, Environmental Claims, Symbols, statements such as "recyclable", "degradable", "reduced energy and water consumption"! Risks: Greenwashing accusation and loss of confidence!
Quantifiable information based on a Life Cycle Assessment (LCA) and verified by an independent party.
The Type III Environmental Product Declaration (EPD) defines the most detailed and demanding requirements for the manufacturer. Type III labeling is now widely used and recognized, particularly in the construction industry.
The EPD informs the customer/reader about various environmental impacts associated with the product life cycle. These include greenhouse gas emissions, which are currently the focus of attention, and the scarcity of water and land.
Type III environmental product declarations in the construction sector are regulated by DIN EN ISO 14025 and DIN EN 15804. ISO 14025 regulates general requirements for the EPD, which are based on the principles of life cycle assessment (LCA). DIN EN 15804 specifies these requirements, particularly in the area of system boundaries and exclusions.
Internally, the EPD presents all environmental impacts including upstream and downstream processes caused by a product. By visualizing various material and energy flows, targeted measures can be derived to improve environmental performance.
Externally, an EPD serves to inform interested parties. EPDs are often requested when awarding contracts and can represent a competitive advantage. Transparent external information also demonstrates the company's environmental commitment.