What is Pre-certification?
Pre-certification is an introductory step to a final EPD where the specific Product Category Rules do not yet exist. A pre-certified EPD is based on LCA-based information in accordance with international standards. The overall outline and content of a pre-certified EPD shall be equivalent to existing EPDs. Pre-certified EPDs must be reviewed and verified by an independent verifier, which is important for the correct application of international agreed-upon LCA methodologies as no guiding PCR is yet available.
Pre-certification is only allowed for one company at the time and its product for the relevant product category subject for PCR work.
There are some clear motives for companies to apply for a pre-certification of their products. Pre-certification of EPDs could be seen as an important element in the preparation of PCR documents providing an illustrative and realistic example of upcoming EPDs in the discussions between parties involved. Other purposes with a pre-certification is:
- to give a company or an organisation a possibility to early inform the market about the environmental performance of their products or services
- make possible a discussion with other parties about the inclusion of other environmental information.
Pre-certified EPDs will most likely serve as important vehicles in the establishment and broadening of EPDs in many business sectors and provide companies having pre-certified EPDs with a market visibilty with a view of strenghtening their competitive edge.
How to prepare a pre-certified EPD
For pre-certification the following requirements apply:
- Underlying LCA-data shall be collected and calculated in accordance with the ISO standard series for Life Cycle Assessment 14040/14044. It is likely that data gaps exist in the underlying background information to environmental product declarations subject to pre-certification. This can be accepted provided that the data gaps are insignificant and in the supply-chain prior to own activities. Existence of such data gaps shall be reported and in doing so in the form of a qualitative assessment of the type of environmental impact that might occur from the activity lacking data. Deviations from the general requirements shall be justified.
- Examination of the results from the LCA study and the declaration shall be carried out by an independent verifier.
More information about pre-certification can be found in the General Programme Instructions Chapter 2.6.
Registration and publication
The IEC will register and publish the EPD (as a pre-certified EPD given a special registration number) upon receipt of the declaration and approval by an independent verifier.
Pre-certification is valid for a specific period of time taking into consideration that international consultation may take some additional time. The time period for validity is suggested by the company/organisation after consultation with the independent verifier.
List of pre-certified EPDs
The list of pre-certified EPDs is a separate part of the searchable EPD database.