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Environmental Product Declaration Schemes (EPDs)

Following on from an expert workshop (pdf~60K) held in Brussels in May 2001 the Commission financed a study by Environmental Resources Management to examine Environmental Product Declaration Schemes. This study has now been completed and can be downloaded from here:

Final study (pdf~1,3M), Annexes I - IX (pdf~670K), Annex X (pdf~1,5M)

The study begins by outlining the current developments within ISO and describing what an EPD is before moving on to examine various EPD and EPD-like schemes. It then compares these schemes with each other and with the current draft of ISO 14025 TR before considering how best such schemes could be integrated with other IPP tools. Finally, the report examines possible future directions within Europe and makes recommendations for the future development of this instrument.

Briefly, it concludes that the European Commission is well placed to play a role in three key areas of EPD development in Europe, namely:

  1. Improving the harmonisation of EPD schemes through a Framework Directive based on an ISO or CEN standard and minimum requirements
  2. Stimulating the supply side by improved access to good quality LCA data; and
  3. Stimulating the demand side by strengthening the link between public procurement and EPDs

It should be noted that the results of this study do not necessarily represent the views of the European Commission on any of the subjects in this report. 

Before considering what (if any) action to take, the Commission asked for written comments from stakeholders on the study and its recommendations.