The market for EPDs (Environmental Product Declarations) is booming. These are précis documents which summarise a product’s life cycle assessment, produced to a standardised format and (typically) third-party verified. The demand we are seeing is market-driven. Architects, house-builders, design engineers all want to understand the environmental impacts of the products they are specifying on their projects, and EPDs are the way to achieve that, with consistency. At the Carbon Experts Summit held in London last week, the call rang out loud and clear – ‘we want more!’
As EPD consultants we speak to many manufacturers. Some are understandably tentative. Do I really need an EPD? What if the results are bad?
Assuming you need an EPD, there are two main routes to achieving a published EPD:
- Use a software company
Companies like One Click LCA offer tools for you to complete the life cycle assessment aspect of the work in-house. Pricing-wise there is a subscription fee to use the software, plus onboarding and other fees. This makes sense where you have the resources in house to train up, and particularly where you have a large range of products where you can benefit from economies of scale. As consultants we use One Click LCA (as well as other LCA software) so can attest to its power and versatility.
- Use an EPD consultancy
It may make sense to use a consultancy to support you with your product(s) life cycle assessment, as well as helping you navigate the stages to verify and publish your EPD(s). It is almost always more cost-efficient to use a consultant where you have a single product, a smaller range of products or only need an EPD for a finite number of products. It also saves the opportunity cost of training up people in-house, and gives you more specialist advice on the trickier aspects of life cycle assessment (of which there are many!).
And what if I don’t need an EPD? What are my options?
Well, then you might consider the inherent value of it anyway.
The real value in using consultants is that we’re with you on the journey. We sincerely hope that our work doesn’t stop with the publication of an EPD. An EPD doesn’t tell you whether a product is environmentally good or bad, it tells you what its environmental impact is. There is always room to improve and we find the act of going through a life cycle assessment inevitably unearths opportunities to reduce environmental impacts. We can be on-hand to support that journey.
If you are interested in discussing how Blue Marble can help you, please get in touch.