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Environmental Product Declaration (EPDs)

Knowing a product's environmental impact at each stage of its lifecycle has become a critical driver for purchases and specifications. EPDs certified by UL enable manufacturers to disclose in a credible, streamlined and universally understood manner.

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Overview

An EPD is a comprehensive, internationally harmonized report created by a product manufacturer that documents the ways in which a product, throughout its lifecycle, affects the environment. UL certifies that all information in a manufacturer’s finished EPD is accurate.

EPD development process

UL Environment develops International Organization for Standardization (ISO) 14025-compliant EPDs in five steps.

  1. Find an appropriate product category rule (PCR). The first step in creating an EPD is to find or create a PCR that’s applicable to a particular product category. PCRs provide the calculation and reporting requirements for creating life cycle assessments (LCAs) and EPDs.  Please see here for more information on UL’s PCR library.
  2. Conduct and verify the product LCA. An LCA is a comprehensive report that documents the cradle-to-grave impacts of a product. Once an LCA is conducted on a particular product, it must be verified by an independent party to ensure it meets the requirements defined in the PCR, ISO 14040 and ISO 14044.
  3. Compile the EPD. The EPD presents the results of the LCA along with additional information about the product’s performance and other sustainability attributes.
  4. Verify the EPD. An independent, third party conducts a thorough review and verification of the findings presented in the EPD.
  5. Register the EPD. UL registers and publishes the EPD to its repository.  EPDs are typically valid for a period of five years.

Benefits

UL certified EPDs demonstrate a manufacturer's commitment to sustainability while showcasing that manufacturer's willingness to go above and beyond — all in the name of transparency and clarity. They also help purchasers better understand a product's sustainable qualities and environmental repercussions. As such, certified EPDs equip manufacturers with a valuable tool for differentiation and empower customers to make more informed purchasing decisions.

Why UL

UL is an EPD program operator and produced the first global PCR. UL is the leading certifier of EPDs and a trusted PCR creator.

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