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19, 2017

Research project investigates possibilities for market-based benchmarks based on EPDs

A lack of trustworthy approaches to interpret and compare LCA data is sometimes seen as a barrier for further EPD diffusion and use. With the declaration of the impact of a single product, how should the reader know if it is“better” or “worse” than competing products in the same product category?

In a new multi-year research project, funded by the Swedish Energy Agency, an approach to develop benchmarks is tested based on actual LCA-data as they appear on the market in registered EPD´s. The project is carried out by IVL Swedish Environmental Research Institute and focuses on the EPD database of the International EPD® system, currently containing more than 700 registered EPDs from organisations in 36 countries.

The first statistical analysis of some data sets indicates that the true distribution curves seem to be more identified as “skewed distribution”. If further statistical analysis show that true distribution curves for several product categories seldom are normal (sigmoid shaped) quite a new approach has to be taken to guide users on how to interpret and compare EPD-information in the future.

For more information about the research project, please contact sven-olof.ryding@ivl.se or sebastian.welling@ivl.se