Environmental Product Declaration (EPD)

Data collected in the Life Cycle Assessment (LCA) can be summarized in an Environmental Product Declaration (EPD). This document is similar to a nutrition label for foods, serving to effectively communicate the environmental performance of your product to your customers.

EPD

EPDs are created according to internationally harmonized standards and are third-party verified, ensuring that the results for your product are valid, and allowing direct comparisons to be made between your product and others in the marketplace. EPDs are considered the gold standard in transparency.





EPD Process

  1. Product Category Rule - Find the PCR that is most relevant to your product. If a PCR does not exist, contact a Program Operator to develop a PCR for your product type.

  2. Life Cycle Assessment - Define the appropriate internal and external user groups, and develop a relevant goal and scope for the project. Ensure that valid and appropriate primary data are collected, and that secondary data needs are met. Conduct an LCA on your product based on collected data. If your company has already completed an LCA for your product, update the study as needed to ensure that it meets the PCR requirements.

  3. Create, Verify, & Publish EPD - Utilize the LCA findings to develop an EPD for your product, according to ISO 14025 standard for Type III Environmental Declarations. This document will be verified and registered by a Program Operator, and will be made publicly available via the Program Operator's website.

LEED Credits

Building product manufacturers have several new opportunities to get specified by contributing more points on projects under LEED v4. The life-cycle approach to Materials and Resources credits in LEED offer incentives for project teams to specify products from manufacturers that provide full transparency of their product's environmental performance.

MR Materials Strategy

MRc2: Building Product Disclosure and Optimization: Environmental Product Declaration (Possible 2 Points)

Intent: To encourage the use of products and materials for which life-cycle information is available and that have environmentally, economically, and socially preferable life-cycle impacts. To reward project teams for selecting products from manufacturers who have verified improved environmental life-cycle impacts.

Achieve one or more of the options below, for a maximum of 2 points.

OPTION 1. Environmental Product Declaration (EPD) (1 Point)

Use at least 20 different permanently installed products sourced from at least five different manufacturers that meet one of the disclosure criteria below:

Product-specific declaration. Products with a publicly available, critically reviewed life-cycle assessment conforming to ISO 14044 that have at least a cradle to gate scope are valued as one quarter (1/4) of a product for the purposes of credit achievement calculation.

Environmental Product Declarations which conform to ISO 14025, 14040, 14044, and EN 15804 or ISO 21930 and have at least a cradle to gate scope.

Industry-wide (generic) EPD - Products with third-party certification (Type III), including external verification, in which the manufacturer is explicitly recognized as a participant by the program operator are valued as one half (1/2) of a product for purposes of credit achievement calculation.

Product-specific Type III EPD - Products with third-party certification (Type III), including external verification in which the manufacturer is explicitly recognized as the participant by the program operator are valued as one whole product for purposes of credit achievement calculation.

USGBC approved program - Products that comply with other USGBC approved environmental product declaration frameworks.

AND/OR


OPTION 2. Multi-Attribute Optimization (1 Point)

Use products that comply with one of the criteria below for 50%, by cost, of the total value of permanently installed products in the project. Products will be valued as below:

Third party certified products that demonstrate impact reduction below industry average in at least three of the following categories are valued at 100% of their cost for credit achievement calculations:

USGBC approved program - Products that comply with other USGBC approved multi-attribute frameworks.

For credit achievement calculation, products sourced (extracted, manufactured, purchased) within 100 miles (160 km) of the project site are valued at 200% of their base contributing cost.

Structure and enclosure materials may not constitute more than 30% of the value of compliant building products.

Product Category Rules

Product Category Rules (PCRs) guide the development of declarations for products that are comparable to others within a product category. PCRs are necessary to develop an EPD. Building product manufacturers work with a Program Operator to identify an existing PCR or to create a new PCR. The Program Operator will verify the LCA and EPD. Some product manufacturers do not have a chemist, biologist, or industrial ecologist on staff, and must collaborate with an LCA Practitioner to develop the LCA and EPD.


EPD Nutrition Label