Vattenfall was the first company to push for a method of certifying its entire process of declaring environmental performance (EPD). Barilla has since carried out the process certification for more than 40 of its products. Sapi, a manufacturer of re-manufactured cartridges of various sizes, is also one of the pioneers of the EPD process certification.
So far only these three companies have certified their EPD process. However, more companies are to follow. If a company wants work out the environmental performance for many individual products process certification is a way to streamline the work. In order to make it worthwhile companies should come up with a larger quantity of products they want to certify.
The actual certification of the EPD can be expensive if you have very many different products, such as the Barilla pasta sauces. Process certification serves as a management system that the company itself controls. This makes it all more cost efficient, said Göran Brohammer, an environmental consultant at Extracon.
Vattenfall and The Swedish Environmental Management Council (SEMCo), the programme operator of the International EPD system, hired Göran Brohammer to develop the certification process. The process can now be performed by any company. Many companies use consultants to calculate the lifecycle costs of a product and certify the EPD. In particular, the EPD certification process is a way to make it cheaper if there are great volumes.
Quite simply it’s the process and not the products that are certified. The main difference between certifying an individual EPD and a process is the review of documents. The process certification requires only one annual audit, rather than an audit for each product.
I wish for more companies to certify their EPD process, but right now only few have heard of it or taken on the challenge, said Göran Brohammer.
The process starts with a pre-audit to examine whether the company is mature enough for the process. If the answer is yes, a major audit will be conducted to obtain the EPD process certification. Once the company has had its EPD process certified it’s valid for three years, with annual follow-up visits. Every three years a re-certification is due.
Read more about process certification in the General Programme Instructions.