GLRPPR: Sector Resources: Documents: Transparency and the Role of Environmental Product Declarations
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GLRPPR Sector Resource: Transparency and the Role of Environmental Product Declarations

Transparency and the Role of Environmental Product Declarations

As the world's consumption of natural resources continues to grow at an ever increasing rate, the design and manufacture of environmentally responsible products is no longer a luxury but a necessity. From electronics to textiles to food production, producers are giving increased attention to the environmental impact of their products across the entire product life cycle. These considerations span design and manufacturing through actual use to end-of-life. Such efforts from producers are now leading towards the collection and compilation of relevant environmental data. This data helps identify opportunities for improvement along the supply chain, often taking the form of a Life Cycle Assessment (LCA). However, there are many ways to distribute this data. Everyone benefits when a product's claim of environmental sustainability is easily validated against objective and transparent criteria, thereby simplifying the process of making informed direct comparisons among similar products. An environmental product declaration (EPD) is a validation tool that offers manufacturers a standard approach for assessing the environmental impact of their products and provides buyers with an effective framework for making direct product comparisons. As such, an EPD addresses the needs of both manufacturers and buyers seeking clear, credible and precise information. This UL white paper discusses the use and importance of EPDs in the validation and certification of life cycle-based product environmental impacts. The paper then reviews the steps in creating EPDs consistent with the requirements of ISO 14025 2006, Environmental labels and declarations--Type III environmental declarations--Principles and procedures, and discusses the important role of an EPD program operator in developing and running an effective EPD program. The report concludes with a look at potential developments regarding the use of EPDs in support of product environmental claims.



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Great Lakes Regional Pollution Prevention Roundtable (GLRPPR)
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