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9, 2016

PCR for Buses and coaches published


Product Category Rules (PCR) for declaring the life-cycle environmental impact of Public and private buses and coaches have now been published in the International EPD® System. This document is the first known PCR according to ISO 14025 for the product group, and enables any company in the industry to develop and register an EPD to be used for a wide range of applications, such as as one part of the environmental management system or in business-to-business communication.

The PCR was developed according to the PCR process described in the General Programme Instructions of the International EPD® System, based on ISO 14025. The process was led by Gorka Benito Alonso at IK Ingeniería as the PCR Moderator. During the development of the document, it has been subject to open consultation on www.environdec.com as well as a review by the Technical Committee as the appointed review panel.


18, 2016

How do you recognize a true EPD?


An EPD is a type III environmental declaration according to ISO 14025 or EN 15804. However, on the market there are other documents that could be mistaken for being type III environmental declarations, but rather should be seen as self-declarations or the results from LCA studies. Such documents are lacking some important characteristics that true EPDs have. Here are three important things to look for when reading a document claiming to be an EPD, with or without a reference to ISO 14025 or EN 15804:

1. Reference to an EPD programme

According to ISO 14025 the EPD shall refer to the EPD programme under which it has been registered. The EPD programme operator is responsible for making sure that it's documentation fulfills the requirements in the standards. The programme operator has many duties to fulfill, and is intended to ensure transparency and credibility in the declarations. As the programme operator shall maintain a public register over all registered EPDs it is also easy to check the validity of the EPD by visiting the website of the program operator or by contacting the operator.

2. Reference to product category rules (PCR)

The EPD shall also refer the PCR-document that has been used for the EPD development. The programme operator is responsible for that the PCR is developed according to the ISO standard. The PCR document ensures that the EPDs within the same product category are developed and presented in the same way and also gives information on the methods used in the life cycle assessment. The programme operator shall maintain a record over the PCR documents developed within the programme.

3. Information on the verification

The EPD shall have information on the verification process. Most EPD programmes requires a third party verification and the EPD shall contain information on the name of the verifier, which can either be a person or organisation. The EPD shall also give information on the validity date.


18, 2016

The International EPD® System launches new page for increased global PCR harmonization

Examples of PCRs

In recent years, new potential market applications related to EPD have led to an increased interest among various stakeholders in many countries to take part in the work related to the development of Product Category Rules (PCR), and many initiatives exist worldwide. The international standard ISO 14025 states that:

”Harmonization of general programme instructions and particularly product category rules (PCR) are encouraged between programmes to meet the principle of comparability. (…) programme operators are encouraged to work cooperatively to achieve harmonization of the programmes and to develop mutual recognition agreements”

Research papers such as Minkov et al. (2015) and Hunsager et al. (2014), as well as market best practices such as the Guidance for PCR development have also highlighted the importance of global harmonisation efforts in Product Category Rules.

Companies and associations from 27 countries have registered and published EPDs in the International EPD® System, and it also has a PCR database containing more that 100 product categories spanning construction, food, transportation, energy, goods and much more.

To build upon this and to contribute to the global efforts in the area of PCR in the spirit of ISO 14025, the International EPD® System is launching a new page on its website: Global PCR libraries and resources. This page is intended to work as a focal point for PCR-related information for the benefit of those interested in developing PCRs in International EPD® System and in other programmes.

"With its large library of PCRs and EPDs from different countries, it is natural for the International EPD® System to offer this additional service. We hope that stakeholders will find this useful, and that this may give a boost to global PCR harmonization efforts," says Kristian Jelse, responsible for PCR development and the PCR database.


29, 2016

Upcoming event: 5th International Seminar of the Ibero-American Network of LCA

Upcoming event: 5th International Seminar of the Ibero-American Network of LCA

Date: June 8-10, 2016.
Place: Viña del Mar, Chile.

During the last CILCA Congress held in Peru in June 2015, Chile was awarded with the realization of the next International  Life Cycle Seminar of the Ibero-American LC Network (RICV). RICV has two major international events, one of them is the renown  Life Cycle Congress (CILCA) and the other is the Seminar, alternating every other year.

The next RICV Seminar will be this year in June 8-10; it is organized by the Chilean LC Network together with RICV and UNEP-SETAC LC Initiative, and with the support of the Minitries of Environment and Foreing Affair of Chile, the  Center of Cleaner Production, and the International EPD System. The RICV Seminar will be held in conjunction with the First Chilean Congress on LCA.

Unlike the CILCA Congresses, which have a strong scientific approach and a level of demand that makes them more restrictive, the focus of the RICV Seminars  has a greater emphasis on technical and practical issues associated to the use of life cycle tools; that is, their applications and implementation in the industry, companies and public and private organizations. The works are selected by an expert committee, which accommodates both scientific  and technical presentations  from companies and public and private institutions, as well as from academic and research institutions.

As has happened in all previous seminars and events of RICV, we expect many participants from all around the world, but especially from Chile and Latin America.

All are very welcome!

More information: http://redacvchile.wix.com/lca-event


23, 2016

First EPDs for cosmetics

First EPDs for cosmetics
The Italian company Unifarco has registrered two EPDs for cosmetics. These EPDs are the first for this product group. The EPDs gives information on the environmental impact from two products in two product categories: "leave-on" cosmetic products and "rinse-off" cosmetic products.

The Italian company Unifarco has registrered two EPDs for cosmetic products. These EPDs are the first registered for this product category. The EPDs gives information on the environmental impact from four products in two different product lines: "leave-on" cosmetic products and "rinse-off" cosmetic products.

EPD "Leave on" cosmetic products

EPD "Rinse-off" cosmetic products


11, 2016

Call for PCR Moderators to update expired PCRs: Beer, Washing machines, Passenger vehicles, etc.

PCR Washing machine

Most of the Product Category Rules (PCR) available in the PCR library of the International EPD System consists of up-to-date and valid PCRs. These are documents that can be used by any company to develop, verify and register EPDs for their products.

There are, however, a few expired PCRs that have not been updated such as:

Stakeholders interested in using these PCRs are very welcome to apply to become the new PCR moderator, and to lead the work in the update phase. The update should use these existing documents as starting points for some methodological aspects, but the new PCRs shall be made compliant with the latest General Programme Instructions and the latest PCR template.

Any company, industry association or other stakeholder who is willing to take on the role of PCR Moderator any for these documents is kindly requested to contact the Secretariat (pcr@environdec.com).


10, 2016

Looking for tenders for independent verification of an EPD? (reminder)

EPD verification in the International EPD® System is be done by an accredited certification body or by an approved individual verifier that is listed on this page. The verifiers work independently from the programme operator to seek verification tasks, and are free to work in the geographical areas and product groups where they have sufficient knowledge to carry out the task in a correct way.

As it is not always easy for a company to find a verifier, the Secretariat will launch a trial new service on www.enviondec.com: an EPD Verification marketplace, where companies can post information and let verifiers contact them (instead of the company contacting multiple potential verifiers).

If your company has started developing an EPD in the International EPD® System and would like to receive tenders from relevant, approved verifiers, please contact the Secretariat with the following information:

  • Product category or PCR
  • Geographical scope of EPD
  • Estimated dates for start and end of verification
  • Contact person e-mail address
  • Other relevant information for potential verifiers
  • Date after which the information shall be removed for the marketplace

This information will then be published on a dedicated page at www.environdec.com, which will be accessible only to the approved individual verifiers and accredited certification bodies.

This marketplace is a trial service, and the administration is offered without charge by the Secretariat. Participation is voluntary.


4, 2016

Conference held in Madrid on sustainability & energy efficiency improvement through environmental labelling in buildings


On February 24th, a conference on “Sustainability and energy efficiency improvement through environmental labelling in buildings: LEED; BREEAM, VERDE and DGNB” was held in Madrid, Spain. The conference, with more than 100 participants, was organized by the Dirección General de Industria, Energía y Minas de la Comunidad de Madrid and the Fundación de la Energía de la Comunidad de Madrid.

The aim of the conference was to present the main features and benefits of the implementation of the different certification programs available for buildings in Spain (LEED, BREEAM, GREEN and DGNB) and explain the growing importance of the energy efficiency.

Relevant for EPD stakeholders was that the sustainability of materials through the use of Environmental Product Declarations (EPD) and LCA was also featured. Several cases of successful implementation of building certification programs and EPDs in the industry was presented, including Saint-Gobain and Danosa that have EPDs registered in the International EPD® System.

The conference also included presentations from the organizers, Marcel Gómez Consultoria Ambiental, AENOR, Green Building Council España, Indra and Eneres.


Text for this news bulletin was kindly provided by Marcel Gómez Consultoria Ambiental.


3, 2016

Two new PCRs published in February

Product Category Rules

Two new Product Category Rules (PCR) were published in February:

  • PCR 2016:01 Other prepared and preserved fruit
  • PCR 2016:02 Edible products of animal origin, n.e.c.

The PCRs were developed according to the PCR process described in the General Programme Instructions of the International EPD® System, based on ISO 14025. The development of the PCRs was led by the PCR Moderators Adriana Del Borghi (Dpt Chem & Process Engineering, University of Genoa), and Gorka Benito Alonso (IK Ingeniería), respectively. Stakeholders were invited to provide comments on draft versions during an open consultation, and the documents were reviewed before publication.

The PCRs are now available for any company in the industry to develop and register an EPD of their products. They are available to download from the PCR database in the International EPD® System (www.environdec.com/PCR).


26, 2016

Improved EPD search: EN 15804 compliance and listing with ECO Platform

EPD information

The search functionality of the EPD database of the International EPD® System has now been updated to include two new aspects:

  • EPD compliance with the standard EN 15804. Some EPDs that are older or from companies from outside of Europe are not compliant with this standard.
  • If listing of the EPD has been done with the ECO Platform. The International EPD® System is an approved programme to use the ECO Platform logotype on its EPDs for construction products compliant with EN 15804. This is a voluntary option during EPD registration.

All existing EPDs in the database have been reviewed to add the required information. If you would located any EPD where this information is lacking, please contact the Secretariat.



24, 2016

Upcoming event in Malmö: EPDs and BASTA

Upcoming event in Malmö: EPDs and BASTA

On April 5h, the EPD International Secretariat will co-host a breakfast seminar about EPD and BASTA as tools for the construction sector. The event will be in Swedish and take place in Malmö.

Registration is now closed.


15, 2016

Website is being updated

Website is being updated

Some links at www.environdec.com may temporarily be broken as we are currently implementing background improvements to the website and underlying database. We hope that this does not cause any major inconveniences. If you experience any problems, feel free to report them to the Secretariat.

Update: The website should now work normally. Please contact the Secretariat if you encouter any remaining issues.


11, 2016

Updated characterisation factors for default impact categories

The recommended characterisation factors have recently been updated for the four default impact categories to use in EPDs: Acidification potential, Eutrophication potential, Global warming potential and Photochemical oxidant creation potential. The new main reference is CML 2001, updated January 2016 replacing the previous recommendation to use CML 2001, updated April 2013.

The known changes introduced to this update is the use of new characterisation factors for Climate change, based on information published by the Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change (IPCC) in 2013. The differences for some important greenhouse gases are displayed below:

EmissionCML 2001, GWP100, April 2013 (kg CO2 eq./kg)CML 2001, GWP100, January 2016 (kg CO2 eq./kg)
Carbon dioxide (CO2) 1 1
Methane (CH4) 25 28*
Nitrous oxide/Dinitrogen oxide (N2O) 298 265
CFC-11 4 750 4 660
HCFC-22 1 810 1 760 
Sulphur hexaflouride (SF6)  22 800 23 500

* Please note that the original source, IPCC (2013), differentiates "Fossil methane" from methane.

An update of characterisation factors may potentially affect absolute and relative results of an LCA study, unless carbon dioxide is the only or dominant greenhouse gase emitted. To manage this transition, the following rules apply:

  • This change does not apply to EPDs for construction products compliant on the European standard EN 15804, as mandatory characterisation factors are already specified in the standard.
  • Currently-published EPDs remain valid and do not need to be updated due to this change in recommendation.
  • New EPDs are expected to use the latest characterisation factors. A transition period will be applied during which EPDs based on the old characterisation factors will also be also accepted. The transition period is introduced not to delay already-ongoing LCA studies, and to allow software providers time to update.
  • All EPDs shall provide references for the source and version characterisation models and factors used in the calculation (General Programme Instructions, Section 4.5.3)
  • If an EPD is updated or the information changed in any way, the organisation should explain, in the revised EPD, the differences versus the previous version of the EPD (General Programme Instructions, Section 4.11). It is important to note that a change in impact due to a change in characterisation factors shall not be communicated as a reduced impact of the product.

If you have any questions, please contact the Secretariat. The main LCA software providers have been contacted to inform them about this updated recommendation.


8, 2016

FAQ: How does the International EPD® System relate to the EU Product Environmental Footprint (PEF) initiative?

Kristian Jelse

Many EPD stakeholders have heard about and would like to know more about the Product Environmental Footprint. Who is behind the initaitive, how will it be used and how does it relate to long-running voluntary initiatives, such as International EPD® System?

We met with Kristian Jelse, Project Manager for the PCR database and PCR development at the Secretariat to try to answer some of these questions:

What is "PEF"?

- The Product Environmental Footprint (PEF) is a proposed European methodology for calculating the life cycle environmental impact of products. It is part of the "Single market for Green products" initiative by the European Commission released together with the Organisation Environmental Footprint ("OEF") methodology in April 2013. 

The PEF methodology has been developed by the European Commission’s Joint Research Centre. It is inspired by (among others) the international standards for Life Cycle Assessment (ISO 14040/14044) and voluntary type III environmental declarations (ISO 14025).

What is the current status of the Product Environmental Footprint?

- The PEF is in a pilot phase between 2013 and 2016, where so-called PEFCR documents and other aspects of the methodology and format of communication will be developed. PEFCRs are the corresponding documents to Product Category Rules (PCR) used for type III environmental declarations in ISO 14025.

Despite the PCRs already available for a large range of product categories, the ongoing pilots have assessed that PCRs based on the ISO standards are currently not valid as PEFCRs (and thus vise-versa) as the two types of documents are based on different rule documents (the PEF Guide versus the ISO standards, and General Programme Instructions of a programme).

How is the International EPD® System involved in this initiative?

- The Secretariat and the Technical Committee of the International EPD® System stay informed and participate in this pilot phase to ensure that knowledge developed during the long history and extensive PCR library of the International EPD® System and from standardisation is taken into account in this testing and update of the proposed methodology.

To date, the Secretariat has chosen to join the Technical Secretariat PEFCR of Intermediate paper products, but is also acting as a stakeholder for all other PEFCR pilots, such as those for food products, where there are many PCRs according to ISO 14025 already available. We have also provided comments during at least one consultation phase on draft PEFCRs of dairy, pasta, wine, paints, detergents, packed water and others in order to encourage harmonization of the new guidance with existing PCRs and the international standards.

What will happen next?

- In parallel with and after the next version of the PEF methodology has been set, a discussion will be had regarding benchmarking, communication vehicles and policy options. Some other questions that remain open are the ongoing operation after the pilot phase, how new product categories are to be included, alignment with existing standards as well as the international application.

Will the International EPD® System be aligned with PEF?

- The International EPD® System is in constant development, why some of the key learnings from the PEF Pilot Phase and updated PEF Guide will likely influence the next major revision of our General Programme Instructions and PCRs. The extent of the harmonization possible will depend upon, among other things, to what extent the outcomes of the PEF initiative are compliant with the international and European standards.

Awaiting the finalization of the pilot phase and the succeeding discussions on how it will be used in Europe, EPDs and the International EPD® System exists as an open, credible, robust and transparent system for companies' voluntary communication of the environmental performance of products on the international markets.

How can I lean more?

- I would like to encourage EPD stakeholders to stay up-to-date with the latest information about EPD and related issues at www.environdec.com. The Secretariat is also available to answer your questions with e-mail or telephone. The European Commission has a website for the PEF initiative, where you can learn more abouy the policy background, ongoing pilots and also find a Q&A.


5, 2016

ECO Platform publishes position paper on PEF

ECO Platform position paper

ECO Platform has recently published a position paper on "the introduction of an EU-initiated PEF-methodology into the construction sector," encouraging cooperation with international standard bodies and partners associated in their work to be accepted on a global scale.

ECO Platform is an International Non-Profit Association established by European EPD Program Operators registering ECO Platform EPDs, European Trade Associations in the construction sector and LCA practitioners.

The position paper may be downloaded from the ECO Platform website.