As a type III environmental declaration, the Environmental Product Declaration (EPD) is defined by the ČSN ISO 14025 standard as “quantified environmental information on the life cycle of a product to enable comparisons between products fulfilling the same function”. It sets the parameters specified by the ISO 14040 series of standards, but it can also contain additional information relating to the environment.
The actual Environmental Product Declaration regarding a product is represented by documents containing measureable information on the impact of the product on the environment obtained on a scientific basis – for example, the exact material composition of the product, consumption of raw materials and energy in the various stages of its life cycle, and the level of emissions contributing to the greenhouse effect, ozone depletion, acidification of soil and water, water eutrophication and the formation of photochemical oxidants. Obtaining this data is based on the methodology of life cycle assessment (LCA), and the actual resulting declaration is the final output containing information on the product with systematically arranged results of the LCA.
The aim of the declaration is to provide a tool for an objective comparison of products according to their environmental characteristics and, based on this information, to support demand for and supply of those products and services that are more environmentally friendly, including the exploitation of natural resources, thereby stimulating the process of improving the environment, the driving force of which is the market itself. The EPD outputs are used in the methods of comprehensive assessment of the quality of buildings in terms of their entire life cycle (LEED, BREEM, SBToolCZ), and they will also be subject to the gradual fulfilment of the 7th basic construction requirement under CPR Regulation (Regulation No. 305/2011 of the European Parliament and of the Council (EU) – CPR) in harmonized technical specifications.
In 2012, the basic standard (for EPD), ČSN ISO 14025, was supplemented by ČSN EN 15804 (Sustainability of Construction Works – Environmental Product Declarations – Core Rules for the Product Category of Construction Products), which defines the basic procedures of EPD creation in the field of construction products. This creates the necessary basis for further elaboration of the specific requirements of the individual product groups (PCR – Product Category Rules) and their application in harmonized standards.
The procedure of EPD preparation particularly includes the following:
- preparation of detailed schemes of production;
- definition of unit processes at the necessary levels;
- definition of the declared/functional unit of the product;
- definition of points in unit processes where it is possible to obtain data (monitoring input/output);
- documentation of each path to the data in all data used.
Within this offer, the Pilsen Branch of the Technical and Test Institute for Construction Prague (TZÚS Praha, s.p.) provides EPD preparation for the field of the product in accordance with ČSN EN 15804. EPD preparation requires close cooperation with production facilities in obtaining the necessary data and localizing the resources.