The thin line of Earth's atmosphere photographed by the crew of the International Space Station
EPD information is sometimes considered to be unspecific and too wide as they cover all relevant aspects of the environmental performance of a product. In most cases EPD information has very distinct user needs to meet, e.g. for checking the absence of hazardous chemicals, for information about the use of renewable or non-renewable resources, about the potential environmental impact for a selected impact category or about suitable ways to recycle/reuse of the product in the end-of-life stage.
Typically, EPD information is normally reported in a format including pre-determined compulsory information for all relevant impact categories, regardless of the intended use of the information by different audiences. This type of communication of an often very complex nature has unfortunately led to a relatively low market penetration of EPD information. The international EPD®system did at an early stage identify this problem and, as a response, introduced the concept of "single-issue EPDs", as a digest of an entire EPD with the ambition to adjust the information into a simpler format in order to better meet to various market and customer requirements.
Climate declarations suit specific market demands
One area where there is a constantly growing demand for information is information related to climate change. The international EPD®system has therefore issued so-called "Climate Declarations" as the first example of single-issue EPDs. A climate declaration "describes the emissions of green-house gases, expressed as CO2-equivalents for a product's life cycle. It is based on verified results from life cycle assessment (LCA) - based information in accordance with ISO 14025".