The Stepwise EPD concept

What is an environmental product declaration?
An Environmental Product Declaration, EPD, presents independently verified data on environmental aspects and impacts of a product throughout its life cycle.

What is a Stepwise EPD?
A Stepwise EPD (Environmental Product Declaration), is an initial EPD with simplified data collection and review. It is a first step to participation in national or international Type III environmental declaration programmes according to ISO 14025.

What is the difference between a Stepwise EPD and a real EPD?
In short, making an EPD involves making:

1) an initial or streamlined life cycle assessment;
2) rules for how the life cycle assessment should be made together with interested parties;
3) a detailed life cycle assessment; and
4) an external verification.
Stepwise EPD only consists of step 1 and a simplified version of step 4. Thus, Stepwise EPD is a cost-effective way of trying out to work with EPDs. But it does not go the whole way of engaging your interested parties in the process, ie step 2, and making a detailed life cycle assessment, which often means involving your suppliers, ie step 3.

How long is a Stepwise EPD valid?
A Stepwise EPD is valid for two years. This means that the next step into an EPD-programme should be taken within two years. The above questions, and others, are also raised in a brochure aimed at users of EPD information. Download brochure.


Paper about the Stepwise EPD project

The paper "Stepwise Environmental Product Declarations - Ten case studies", summarizing project results, is now published and available electronically in the Journal of Cleaner Production. Access to the full text of the article depends on your personal or institutional entitlements.

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