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Environmental Product Declaration

LEED v4 Compliant

Publish an Environmental Product Declaration (EPD) to help building projects earn valuable LEED v4 credits and promote greater transparency about your product. LEED v4-compliant EPDs summarize potential environmental impacts across the life cycle of products and materials for select impact categories. They are prepared based on Product Category Rules (PCR) consistent with ISO 14025, ISO 21930, and ISO 14044, the international standards for Type III environmental declarations and life cycle assessment (LCA).

Engage SCS for the very highest quality EPD communications to open up new opportunities and support your bottom line. We have been innovating in environmental labeling and LCA for decades, issuing the world’s first environmental product declarations in the 1990s, inventing “Type III” labeling, and contributing to standards for LCA and ecolabeling. We continue to drive technical advances in LCA, and serve as an LCA expert representing the US in international negotiations. SCS is among the first organizations recognized by the American National Standards Institute (ANSI) as an eligible EPD Program Operator and an accredited independent EPD Verifier.

 

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Stephanie Blazek
Account Executive

510.452.6394
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Basics

The reliability, transparency, and comparability of Environmental Product Declarations are determined by three things: the scope of assessment required by the applicable PCR; the rigor of the LCA performed, and the quality of the EPD report.

  1. The international standard governing EPDs (ISO 14025) requires that certified EPDs be prepared in accordance with PCRs meeting specific criteria. PCRs define the product category, describe the scope of the life cycle assessment (LCA) to be conducted, and identify the types of potential impacts that must be evaluated and reported.
  2. The LCA is typically conducted by a recognized neutral third-party, in accordance with international LCA standards (ISO-14040 series). The assessment must, at a minimum, address each environmental or human health impact identified in the PCR.
  3. The resulting EPD is based on the findings of this assessment. It must disclose all information required in ISO 14025 and defined in the PCR, including a description of the study scope, the product, results, and related details.

Process

  1. Choose Product Category Rules (PCRs)

    PCRs exist for many product groups. We will work with you to find the PCR that is most relevant to your product.  If a relevant PCR does not exist, we offer PCR development services. You may also elect to have us prepare a “pre-certified EPD” as the basis for the development a PCR for your product category.

  2. Complete Data Request Form

    Complete our Data Request Form, based on the PCR requirements.  An LCA account manager will work you and your suppliers to provide support and answer any questions to ensure proper data is collected.

  3. Perform Life Cycle Assessment

    We conduct the LCA on your product based on information provided in the Data Request Form.  If you have already completed an LCA for your product, we verify the LCA and update the study as needed to ensure that it meets the PCR requirements.

  4. Prepare EPD

    The SCS assessment team will prepare an EPD compliant with the PCR, incorporating the results of the LCA and any other information required in a market-ready format.

  5. Verify EPD

    Consistent with the requirements of ISO 14025, the EPD will be reviewed and verified by an external, fully independent team.

  6. Publish EPD

    Once the EPD is completed and verified, SCS will publish the EPD and add it to the SCS EPD library.

Benefits

Certification of your LEED v4-compliant Environmental Product Declaration means that you can:

  • Support customers seeking credits through LEED v4
  • Provide data that can be used as a baseline for internal improvement
  • Support brand marketing strategies
  • Gain business-to-business recognition
  • Engage key stakeholders concerned about the environmental and human health impacts of products
  • Set the stage for more complete analysis and using more advanced LCA methods

 

Limitations

The LEEDv4 credit permits EPDs that report only a small subset of the environmental impacts relevant throughout the product life cycle. Unless EPDs report all relevant environmental aspects of products, as required by the international standards for EPDs (ISO 14025) and life cycle assessment (ISO 14044), they can be considered only a first step toward transparency.

International Standard: ISO 14025 –  In the development of Type III environmental declarations, all relevant environmental aspects of the product throughout its life cycle shall be taken into consideration and become part of the declaration.

International Standard: ISO 14044 –  The selection of impact categories shall reflect a comprehensive set of environmental issues related to the product system being studied, taking the goal and scope into consideration.

LEEDv4-compliant EPDs can leave out major impact categories, and report phantom impacts that do not reflect actual impacts in the real world.  As a result, comparisons based on such EPDs can be misleading, and should be approached cautiously.  Some environmental stakeholders have expressed skepticism.

Fortunately, these obstacles can be overcome by combining your LEEDv4-compliant EPD with SCS' Environmental Product Declarations Based on Advanced LCA protocols. These protocols assure the comprehensive reporting that your stakeholders will respect, increased accuracy and reliability, and the basis for credible comparability among related products.

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