What Is An EPD?
An Environmental Product Declaration (EPD) is a brief, third party verified report of product ingredients and environmental impacts that occur during the manufacture and life of a product. EPDs allow customers to compare different products and their environmental impacts, giving them a way to choose products with low environmental impacts.
EPDs are based on life cycle assessment, which details the environmental impacts of making and using products. It measures things like raw material extraction, energy use, water use, and waste generation.
How Are EPDs Created?
EPDs follow a credible, verifiable process in their development. Companies must have a commitment to full disclosure of what is typically considered confidential information about how their products are made. In addition to sharing product "ingredients", companies must perform a comprehensive life cycle assessment pursuant to ISO 14040 standards. From this information, an Environmental Product Declaration is developed, pursuant to ISO 14025 standards. The EPD and the LCA both have to be third party verified.
What Are EPDs Used For?
Interface companies use EPDs both as learning and communication tools, helping us and our customers better understand the environmental impacts of our products.
How Do EPDs Help Interface?
EPDs help Interface better understand the impacts of our products and see the differences that sustainable selections make on our products and on the planet - better choices, like using recycled materials in our products, are directly reflected in lower impacts to the environment in our EPDs.
How Do EPDs Help Customers?
Because the information and format of an EPD are strictly proscribed, customers can use EPDs to directly compare one product to another. This comparability of product info cuts down on confusing “green” claims - specific information allows for meaningful product comparisons - and a way to compare apples to apples and carpet to carpet.
EPDs have been developed because people are asking more and more detailed questions about products – questions like “How does this product impact climate change or water quality?” The people asking companies for this type of transparency also want to make sure the answers they’re getting are credible. Rather than just being a green claim or promise, an EPD requires information on products to be shared in a standardized format, requires certification to a public standard and requires verification by a credible third party. EPDs go way beyond “trust us” green statements about products – they are comprehensive, third party verified statements.