As demand for environmentally preferable products has increased, concerns from consumers over “greenwashing” and unsubstantiated claims by manufacturers have also increased. Publishing an Environmental Product Declaration (EPD) will substantiate your environmental marketing claims and provide an ecolabel (ISO 14025) that consumers can use to accurately compare products.
Environmental Product Declaration (EPD)
Life Cycle Assessment is the science behind these EPDs which must meet and comply with specific methodological requirements that are defined in Product Category Rules (PCR). In addition to complying with PCRs, EPDs are also verified by third-party expert panels to ensure their accuracy prior to publication. When your company is ready to publish an EPD, LTS can guide you through the process.
Product Category Rules (PCR)
Product Category Rules (PCRs) are vital for the concept of environmental declarations and climate declarations. PCRs enable transparency for the Environmental Product Declaration (EPD) development and also comparability between different EPDs based on the same PCR. EPD standards require that a PCR be developed for each system functional unit. One cannot have a product category rule that covers everything from toys to trucks; there must be a separate product category rule for each kind of product. Sharing a functional unit means that the products provide the same social benefit for consumers, and direct comparisons can be made between different products. Logically, this means that every kind of product must have its own rule.
Environmental Product Declarations are owned by the companies that are selling the product. However, the PCRs are produced and owned by a third party, called the program operator. The program operator is responsible for making sure that the rules are developed in a transparent and fair fashion according to the international standards, and that the validation of EPDs using the PCR is done in such as way that quality is assured. If you need an EPD and there is no PCR for your product (or if you aren’t sure), then we can help you navigate what can otherwise be a long and confusing process.