Session 9

How does a Type III environmental declaration can support Sustainable Consumption and Production?
1B4Green consulting, Switzerland; 2Bureau Veritas CODDE, France

ISO 14025 compliant declarations (so called Type III or Environmental Product Declarations – EPD) are widespread throughout the industry, allowing business stakeholders to provide and share Life Cycle Assessment (LCA) based results of a product in the context of Public or Business Procurement for the comparison of technical solutions. They can also be used for the LCA of complex systems such as Buildings or Means of transports. However the standard requirements are too generic to ensure their harmonised and comparable application.
Amongst other complimentary aspects, program operators have been created to developing Product Category Rules and Product Specific Rules. As an example, the PEP ecopassport® program was created to guide the publication of comparable EPDs for electric and electronic equipment in the Construction, Infrastructures and Industry sectors. Beside its wide application, some technical aspects remain to ensure a full comparability of these declarations.
To tackle those cross-sectoral challenges, the European Commission launched the Product Environmental Footprint (PEF) project to validate technical rules and processes with the involvement of 27 Pilots. This work results in solving key issues: the PEFCR (Product Environmental Footprint Category Rules) development process, general and sector-specific questions, or tools and means provided to allow the harmonised application of the PEF Guidance and PEFCR requirements. Other aspects must be further developed by the end of the Pilot phase.
To conclude, this project is major in terms of parties’ involvement, and will shape the future of environmental communication. Those developments open new perspectives for all stakeholders, and program operators will have to define their roles in a more harmonized, regulation-driven context. To ensure the long-term success of environmental declaration schemes, both the academic and pragmatic approaches must combine to reach a consensus in terms of applicability and appropriateness, to become mainstream in the context of Sustainable Consumption and Production.