Environmental Product Declaration (EPD)

An Environmental Product Declaration, EPD, is a document that reports environmental data of products based on life cycle assessment (LCA) and other relevant information. Standards such as ISO 14025 and EN 15804 exist to ensure consistency of format and comparability of data.

EPDs can be verified by accredited third parties so that users have assurance that the EPD complies with the requirements of the standard to which it is claimed to follow. The methodology for LCA (based on the European and International Standards) varies from the BRE’s Environmental Profiles Methodology upon which the Green Guide is based. 

In the UK, EPD has become shorthand for output compliant with EN 15804, the European standard which has been written to provide the rules for company and industry claims on environments credentials. The driver for EN 15804 was the need for true comparison between manufacturers of the same product, but also between very different products.

The need is to compare apples with apples. To achieve this is a huge task and hence under EN 15804 are Product Category Rules (PCRs) which provide a further level of detail. EPDs can cover the whole lifecycle of a project: cradle to grave. In EN 15804 this is modules A to C (and these have sub sets). When comparing EPDs designers must ensure they cover the same modules.

Generic EPD for ready-mixed concrete

Institut Bauen und Umwelt e.V. (IBU) have published an EPD for UK manufactured generic ready-mixed concrete. Find out more about the EPD for:

Generic EPDs for precast concrete

British Precast has worked closely with sustainability consultants, Thinkstep, on developing a lifecycle assessment tool for the purpose of producing verified Environmental Product Declarations (EPDs) in accordance with EN 15804. The tool created is robust and accurate but also user friendly for manufacturers of any size. The tool has an extensive list of over 50 material inputs covering all the commonly-used aggregates, cements, reinforcements and admixtures.

The tool has now been externally verified by the Institut Bauen und Umwelt e.V. (IBU). The published EPDs are part of British Precast’s on-going commitment to sustainability and transparency. The seven published EPDs are:

British Precast produced (prior to the EPDs) easy to use carbon fact sheets for brick-faced and stone cladding and structural precast elements. As they were produced prior to the EPDs they should only be referred to if needed once the EPDs are consulted.