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Five benefits of an Environmental Product Declaration (EPD)

14 March 2023

Five benefits of an EPD

Unsure what an EPD is and how it can help your business? We break down five of the benefits they can bring.

As more businesses focus on achieving net zero goals, the importance of accurate data around the scope of environmental impact becomes ever more crucial. This is particularly relevant within individual products, where decisions around purchasing have huge implications on the value chain. 

Environmental Product Declarations (EPDs) are an exciting example of how businesses can garner this insight. Still a relatively new development, early adopters have been capitalising on several benefits they provide a business. 

What is an EPD?

EPDs are certificates that document the environmental impact of a product across its full lifecycle. It will detail the complete carbon footprint, known as the ‘Global Warming Potential’ (GWP), including the impacts to carbon, air, soil and water bodies. 

You can think of it as almost a ‘nutritional information’ breakdown of these impacts. Crucially it does this through five specific stages of the product's lifecycle: 

  1. Manufacturing 
  2. Construction 
  3. Product use  
  4. End of life  
  5. Benefits beyond the system boundary 

How can EPDs help my business? 

Understanding an EPD is one thing, more valuable is knowing the advantages they can bring. If your business makes physical products, EPD certificates can make a significant difference, and we've rounded up five of the main benefits they deliver. 

1 - They provide the most exact available breakdown of your environmental impact 

While 100% accurate carbon calculations aren’t possible yet, EPDs offer the closest currently available. By securing this environmental impact breakdown across the full lifecycle of your product, you’ll be gaining as complete a view of the picture as possible. This depth of precise data then equips you in many ways. 

2- They’ll help you achieve ESG and net zero targets and reassure your stakeholders 

The granular detail EPDs provide enables you to more accurately calculate your carbon footprint. Consequently, they're hugely valuable tools in acquiring and understanding the data your business needs to calculate and achieve its ESG and net zero objectives.  

Even the act of simply getting an EPD proves a considerable commitment towards sustainability, a hugely reassuring factor for your internal and external stakeholders. And on that note... 

3 - They’ll also help your customers achieve their ESG and net zero targets 

Not only will you get closer to achieving your net zero and ESG goals, but you’ll also offer customers the opportunity to do the same. Whatever sector you operate in, from construction to manufacturing, more of your customers will need to provide a complete breakdown of the impact of emissions across their value chain. 

An EPD on your products equips your customers with the data they need to meet their sustainability ambitions. Data across the value chain is becoming ever more crucial and an EPD significantly decreases your customer’s workload in securing it. 

4 - They provide market differentiation 

That value for your customers provides you with a competitive edge. We’re still in the preliminary stages of the adoption of EPDs across sectors, so companies offering them will stand out compared to those not doing so.  

Your customers will likely be reviewing multiple products and assessing how each meets their ESG targets. Those that offer accurate insight will always stand out against those that don’t. 

5 - They last five years 

EPDs last for five years, which means your investment delivers for a sustained and specified period. As well as offering you half a decade of security in this respect, it also enables your business ample opportunity to improve the environmental impact.  This means that by the time of when the next EPD is recalculated, your sustainable credentials can be improved even further. 

Ready to discuss how EPDs can help your business? You can book a call with one of our experts and explore in further detail the benefit they offer. 

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