Different EPD types

Single-company, single-product EPD

The single-company, single-product EPD is the most common type of EPD. It describes the life cycle environmental impact of one (1) product from one single manufacturer.

Single-company, single-product EPDs provide data on one product made by one manufacturer, but can encompass several factories. When a manufacturer produces a product at several sites, and the products from different sites are not marketed as different products and/or are in no other way distinguishable by a downstream customer, they can be covered by this type of an EPD.

In LEED v4, this is referred to as a "Product-specific Type III EPD".

This type of EPD can be for a product produced for a specific project only, for example as offered in a certain public procurement. This is sometimes referred to as a project-specific EPD.

Project-specific EPDs can cause some market confusion, because some peer EPD programme operators in Europe/Nordics offer the option to publish non third-party verified LCA-reports via their EPD systems. These reports are essentiallly ISO14021 (type II) self-declared environmental claims that do refer to EPDs, but do not fullfil the third-party verification requirements under ISO14025. Often these reports claim ISO14025 compliance, but come accompanied with notations regarding the EPDs' internal verification or self-declaration characteristics.

EPD of product not yet on the market

Products designed and planned but not yet launched on the market (forthcoming products) may be included in an EPD provided that the EPD owner has a registered, valid EPD for a similar product.

In developing an EPD of a product not yet on the market, based on an EPD of a similar product, the similar product can be defined either as a sibling product or a non-sibling product.

The similar product is a sibling product when its LCA model is equal to the one of the forthcoming product in terms of data composition. The only differences regard the activity data (e.g., a different material or packaging composition share, a different energy consumption in the manufacturing process, a different distribution distance). If the LCA model of the forthcoming product is built based on a sibling product, the data quality requirements in the GPI and applicable PCR are assumed to be fulfilled.

The similar product is a non-sibling product when differences between the products are not limited to activity data but involve other changes in the LCA model, e.g., the use of different materials in product assembly or the use of a different manufacturing technology. In this case, the LCA model of the forthcoming product may also be built on the similar product, but the EPD owner shall prove that the data quality requirements in the GPI and applicable PCR are met.

EPDs for forthcoming products shall contain in the product description section the following disclaimer:

  • Product not yet on the market

The environmental profiles of forthcoming products shall be updated and re-verified at the latest after 1 year of actual production.

Read more in the GPI and applicable PCR for the rules for developing EPDs not yet on the market.

EPD of multiple products

Similar products made by the same manufacturer can be included in a EPD of multiple products.

Similar products from a single or several manufacturing sites covered by the same PCR and manufactured by the same company with the same major steps in the core processes may be included in the same EPD.

One set of results shall be declared, which may be the results of one representative product, the average results or the worst-case results.

More rules and guidance can be found in the GPI and applicable PCR.

Elsewhere, EPDs of multiple products are sometimes called "Group EPDs".

Sector or industry-average EPD

A sector EPD is developed by an industry association and declares the average product of multiple companies in a clearly defined sector and geographical area.

Products covered in a sector EPD shall follow the same PCR and the same functional/ declared unit shall be applied.

Any communication of the results from a sector EPD should contain the information that the results are based on averages obtained from the sector as defined in the EPD. The communication shall not claim that the sector EPD results are representative for a certain manufacturer or its product.

Elsewhere, sector EPDs are sometimes referred to as "average EPDs", "industry-wide EPDs", "industry-average EPDs" or "generic EPDs".

All public EPDs are freely accessible via our EPD Library

Machine-readable EPD

A machine-readable EPD contains some of the information of an EPD that has been transferred into a machine-readable format. The information is stored in a xml-file format in a separate database hosted by the International EPD® System that can be used for different applications and will open new ways to make use of the communication of the environmental performance of products.

To see the machine-readable, digitalized EPDs, please click on the button below to be redirected to our separate database for digitalized EPDs.

Machine-readable EPDs

All digitalized data is linked to the EPDs published in the International EPD® System and therefore enables communication of environmental impacts of products in a quantitative, credible, comparable and understandable way based on an established communication format.

Sustainability considerations in the construction sector are of growing interest and even recommended by the European construction product regulation (CPR). LCA at building level is a central instrument for the evaluation of environmentally relevant sustainability aspects. The required material data is given in environmental product declarations (EPD) based on calculation methods according to European or International Standards (e.g. EN 15804, ISO 21930). Meanwhile, there is an increasing demand of data in digital format.

The transformation of EPD-information into the machine-readable format will broaden the opportunities for the application of EPD information in areas, such as public procurement, building assessment tools and other environmental calculation tools.

Following developments in the International Open Data Network for Sustainable Building (InData), the structure and format of the data is aligned with the format discussions in the InData network.

The InData initiative is based on already existing instruments, and standards. It thus uses the so called ILCD+EPD data format. The ILCD data format, developed by the European Commission’s DG JRC, is widely used in the LCA context. Extensions had to be added to integrate EPD specific information (e.g. scenarios, modules, type of data). The chosen format offers a high flexibility, which allows for the adaption of related specific national requirements or changes in the underlying standards (e. g. amendments M350 of EN 15804) in future.

ECO EPD from ECO Platform

ECO EPD are EN 15804 compliant EPDs that have been issued by established ECO Platform EPD Programme members.
We are a founding member of ECO Platform.

"ECO EPD Programmes have been audited by ECO Platform to ensure that they are following EN 15804 and that it is using the ECO Platform Verification Guidelines, ensuring a high level of robustness and quality. ECO EPD are recognized across Europe, which gives your EPD a much wider recognition than through a single EPD Programme. With offering a digital ECO EPD via the ECO Portal datahub LCA tools and other applications will in future have direct machine readable access to the EPD. This will help increasing the effectiveness of building and construction LCA and bring high added-value to all stakeholders."

Source reference:

ECO Portal

Pre-certified EPD

The pre-certified EPD is an initial step to publishing environmental information of a product during the development of a PCR for a new product category.

A pre-certified EPD may serve as a practical example and thus facilitate the PCR development process in the discussions between the parties involved. The pre-certification also gives an organisation the possibility to, early on, inform the market about the environmental performance of their products.

Pre-certification is not applicable for a product category in the event of an existing PCR (valid or expired) at www.environdec.com.