The use of Environmental Product Declarations (EPDs) is becoming a strategic competitive advantage as awareness of environmental impacts such as climate change has grown worldwide and companies and consumers are increasingly making environmentally friendly choices. EPDs lead companies to more sustainable practices, encourage innovation and ultimately contribute to a greener and more environmentally conscious global economy. Use EPDs as a strategic business advantage!

Definition of EPDs

An EPD is a verified and registered document that provides transparent and standardized information about the environmental impact of a product throughout its entire life cycle. The ISO standard 14025 and the DIN standard EN 15804 form the basis for building and construction products.

To describe an EPD, two concepts must be taken into account: Product Category Rules and the Life Cycle Assessment.

Product Category Rules (PCRs) define the guidelines and rules for carrying out a Life Cycle Assessment (LCA) for a specific product category. They define the scope, system boundaries, allocation methods and other requirements necessary to assess the environmental performance of products within a category. PCRs are managed and created by a program operator such as IBU, EPD-International or EPD-Norge.

PCRs are critical because they provide a standardized and consistent framework for conducting LCAs. This standardization ensures that LCAs for similar products are comparable and can be used to create meaningful EPDs.

A life cycle assessment is a systematic and comprehensive analysis of the environmental impact of a product throughout its entire life cycle, from the extraction of raw materials to production, transportation, use and disposal. It is based on the standards DIN EN ISO 14040:2021-02 and DIN EN ISO 14044:2021-02. You can find out more about this topic in one of our blog articles: Benefits of Life Cycle Assessment for Company Product/Service

EPDs as a competitive advantage 

If you're wondering how EPDs can be a strategic business advantage, here are ten good reasons why:


1. Driving Innovation and Efficiency

The process of developing EPDs encourages companies to assess their processes and products, identify inefficiencies, and drive innovation. This can lead to improvements in resource efficiency, cost reduction, and a more competitive and resilient business model.




2. Supply Chain Optimization

EPDs not only focus on the final product but also provide insights into the entire supply chain. Companies can use this information to optimize their supply chain, reduce environmental impacts, and enhance overall efficiency. Supply chain optimization often leads to cost savings, creating additional business value.




3. Strengthening Trust and Transparency

EPDs are subject to third-party verification, which increases the integrity and credibility of life cycle assessment performance information. This is an important requirement under the forthcoming EU Green Claims Directive.




4. Enhancing Brand Reputation

Companies that invest in EPDs showcase a commitment to sustainability. This commitment enhances their brand reputation, making them more attractive to environmentally conscious consumers. A positive brand image can lead to increased customer loyalty.




5. Meeting Consumer Expectations

Today's consumers are increasingly making choices based on sustainability. EPDs provide transparent information about a product's environmental impact, allowing consumers to align their purchases with their personal values. By meeting these expectations, companies can capture a growing market segment.




6. Add value to your competition

In a crowded marketplace, standing out is essential. Companies with EPDs gain a competitive advantage by differentiating themselves as leaders in environmental responsibility. This distinction can influence purchasing decisions, especially when consumers are comparing similar products.




7. Opening New Market Opportunities

Many industries are witnessing a shift towards sustainable practices. Companies with EPDs are well-positioned to capitalize on emerging markets and partnerships that prioritize environmental considerations. EPDs can be a gateway to new business opportunities.




8. Regulatory Compliance and Risk Mitigation

Regulatory requirements related to environmental disclosure are becoming more stringent. Companies with EPDs are better positioned to comply with these regulations, reducing the risk of legal issues and ensuring continued market access. For example, The EU Commission proposed the product environmental footprint (PEF) as the recommended calculation method for LCAs.




9. Attracting Sustainable Investments

Investors are increasingly considering environmental factors in their decision-making processes. Companies with a strong commitment to sustainability, demonstrated through EPDs, can attract sustainable investments and partnerships.




10. Sustainable Public Calls (building sector)

For most public calls in the building sector in Germany and the EU, architects and planners are required to ensure sustainability of their projects. Therefore, all common building certification systems like DGNB, BNB, HQE, BREEAM or LEED rely upon EPDs.



EPDs do not disclose sensitive operational information

In summary, EPDs are standardized documents that provide a transparent insight into the environmental impact of a product throughout its life cycle. Managed by Program operators, EPDs include a life cycle assessment that covers extraction, manufacturing, transport, use and disposal. Key components include product description, LCA results, declared unit, system boundaries, methodology and third-party verification. EPDs encourage innovation, differentiate brands in a competitive marketplace, align with global efforts to create a greener economy, and promote transparency and credibility in product development and consumption.

EurA helps you to find the optimal solution and supports your business with the development of EPDs. To know how, write an email or click here.


🖊️Text: Mary Osorio

Marvin Gornik

Your contact person
Marvin Gornik

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Sustainable solutions are a must-have, both due to climate change and growing stakeholder requirements. Despite, or perhaps because of, the major challenges in this area, I am passionate about my job as a sustainability consultant. Thanks to my master's degree in chemical engineering, I mainly work as a consultant for EurA in sectors such as chemicals, energy storage and the manufacturing industry in general. If you would like to find out more about sustainability consulting, I look forward to talking to you.

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