Yes, but there are some data requirements. As a minimum, a supplier should have conducted an environmental product declaration on their product. We also look for EPDs that are registered with a member of the ECO EPD Platform. Members are listed here: http://www.eco-platform.org/who-is-participating.html

Reasons for choosing one of these program operators are:

  • Ensures compliance with ISO 14025 (it’s not an EPD if it isn’t registered with an EPD program operator) which also ensures it’s thorough, objective and likely to be reliable
  • The ECO EPD platform includes all the main EPD program operators who are currently aligning their product category rules for construction products so that all EPDs between programs will be entirely comparable. Essentially they’re creating the currency for environmental product information for the construction sector.
  • Europe lead the way with EPD activity and this system will likely become the dominant international system for construction products.
  • The ECO EPD system will also comply with EN15804 and can therefore be used in whole building LCA studies compliant with EN15978
  • ALCAS and ALCANZ (the Australian and New Zealand representative bodies for LCA) are initiating a local EPD program which aligns with the International EPD System who are also members of the ECO EPD platform

These factors essentially mean that it’s the best way of ensuring an EPD is relevant and recognised Internationally .

Note for Australian Manufacturers:

In addition, if material manufacturers are undertaking EPDs in Australia for products likely be used for Green Star projects, they should extend their reporting of environmental indicators to include the GBCA’s current list of environmental indicators required for the whole of life, whole of building LCA credits as follows:

  • Climate change (Kg CO2, equivalent IPCC AR4)
  • Stratospheric ozone depletion potential (Kg CFC 11 equivalent, WMO 1999)
  • Acidification potential of land and water (Kg SO2 equivalent, CML)
  • Eutrophication potential (kg PO4 equivalent, CML)
  • Tropospheric ozone formation potential (Photochemical Ozone Creation Potential Ethylene equivalents, CML)
  • Mineral and fossil fuel depletion (abiotic depletion) (Kg Sb equivalent, CML)

The following indicators also enable an extra Green Star point can be obtained:

  • Human Toxicity (Kg 1,4 DB equivalent, DALY)
  • Land use Land Transformation (m2 UNEP/SETAC Land Use Indicator Value Calculation in Life Cycle Assessment)
  • Resource depletion – water (m3 water use related to local scarcity of water, Water Stress Indicator)
  • Ionising Radiation (kg U-235 equivalent to air Human Health Effect model)
  • Particulate Matter (kg PM2.5 equivalent RiskPoll)

The indicators that are currently required for EN15978 are listed in green, those that are not required are red, and those that have different characterisation methods are orange. So if a manufacturer is producing an EPD and want it to be useful for Green Star purposes, it’s a good idea to include all these indicators regardless of whether they’re strictly required for the EPD.

A list of Australian practitioners is available on the ALCAS web site (link below), many of whom could provide EPD services. http://www.alcas.asn.au/resources/practitioners

We’re happy to answer questions from suppliers about EPDs.

Posted in: eToolLCD Methodology