It’s a voluntary communication instrument through which an organization provides objective, comparable and reliable information and data about the environmental performances of a product or service.
The International Standard requires the definition of specific Product Category Rules (PCR), which establish technical, functional and operative rules to be considered while developing a Life Cycle Assessment (LCA) study aimed at creating an EPD related to a given Product Category.
The purpose of an EPD® is not to reward environmental excellence, but to provide an impartial instrument useful to compare products and/or services within the same category on the basis of their environmental impacts during the whole life cycle.
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The International EPD® System is aimed at supporting all kind of organizations, in order to declare verified information related to the environmental performances of their products, for several market applications.
That’s why the International EPD® System can be considered as a powerful instrument, that allows the organizations to satisfy their interest in using environmental declarations of their products in a global context.
The Certification Process
The main steps of the certification process are:
- Preparation of the certification request;
- Issue of the economic offer;
- Execution of the certification audit;
- Issue of the certificate in case of approval of the Technical Commission.
The EPD, after registration and publication on the International EPD® System website, is valid for a period of three or five years (depending on the product category considered) and the validity of the certification is related to the validity of the EPD.
Annual surveillance audits and quinquennial update audits are necessary to keep the certification valid during the reference period.
The International EPD® System allows the organizations with a valid EPD® certification to use an official logotype, which can be used, in connection with advertisement, on products and on their packaging materials.
The EPD certification audit can be carried out together with other audits, such as: Critical Review of Life Cycle Assessment studies, Carbon Footprint, Water Footprint.