Environmental Product Declarations (EPDs) have become increasingly important in recent years. A growing number of companies are having EPDs created for their products and projects - this trend is particularly noticeable in the construction sector. Incentives are created for the acquisition of Environmental Product Declarations, which are also demanded in tenders.
A stakeholder survey conducted by brands & values GmbH has shown that there still is a considerable lack of knowledge in dealing with EPDs: How should the results be interpreted? Does an EPD provide information on whether a product is environmentally friendly or not? What implications and improvement measures can be derived from an EPD?
With this EPD-Analyzer, we aim to provide a tool that, first and foremost, empowers the EPD owner to learn and understand more about life cycle assessments and assessments of environmental impacts. In the second step, the EPD-Analyzer also shows possibilities to make products more efficient and ecologically optimised.
How can an EPD be read? Which impact categories or indicators are important? Is the global warming potential more dangerous than the ozone hole? Unfortunately, there is no standard answer to these questions. An inhabitant of the San Blas Islands and an Australian would probably give very different answers to these questions.
According to the German Federal Environmental Agency's (UBA) approach to the "ecological priority" assessment method, the environmental impacts of products and projects are assessed from three perspectives (see reference: UBA).
The Ecological Priority is composed of:
|The online tool organises and manages many different EPDs. The EPD-Analyzer enables the central storage of digital EPD datasets, associated documents such as the EPD as a PDF document or the product category rules (PCRs) and other relevant information. The tool visualises the validity period so that EPDs can be extended in good time.
|EPD results are explained, weighted and visualisedbased on the evaluation method "Evaluation in Life Cycle Assessments" of the German Federal Environmental Agency. It is determined, which EPD indicators are ecologically relevant and which have a lower priority. The EPD-Analyzer provides starting points for product optimisation.
|With the EPD calculator, stored EPD data sets can be used to create new EPD projects. For example, a new project, product or component can be generated that can later be used to compare internal benchmark processes.
|The benchmark is used to compare the environmental impacts of different EPDs. It is ideally suited to document the ecological evaluation of new project, product or component developments or to position oneself against the competition.
|Whether via the free online EPD database ÖKOBAUDAT or programme operators such as the Institut Bauen und Umwelt e.V. (IBU), The International EPD AB or other programme operators who provide EPDs digitally: Importing digital EPDs in ILCD + EPD format (XML) is fast and easy.
|The EPD-Analyzer offers an interface to ÖKOBAUDAT. EPD data records can be easily selected and directly imported via this interface. This saves a lot of time and a large selection of available data already exists.