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The task of the program operator is to carry out the environmental declaration program - in simple terms, this means publishing and managing the EPD.

The program operator can be a company or a group of companies, an industry sector or a professional association, a state institution or agency, an independent research institution or any other organization, but in its activities it must follow the rules stipulated in standards and requirements (e.g. ISO 14025). Therefore, not everyone can become a program operator.


In addition, each program operator has selected verifiers who are authorized to certify EPDs that are desired to be published in the respective program. The requirements for becoming a verifier may vary slightly between programs, but all want to see that the verifier has sufficient life cycle analysis experience and the necessary technical knowledge of the product groups whose EPDs they are reviewing.


The program operator must be selected before the analysis and preparation of documents (or at the latest during it). Each program has its own rules and requirements for document formatting and sometimes calculations.

The selection of a suitable program is usually based on the following criteria:

  • Geographical area

  • The working language of the program

  • Publication cost

  • ECO Platform

Estonia does not have its own program operator. The closest countries with a program operator are Finland (RTS) and Sweden (International EPD System). However, EPDs are valid worldwide, so the lack of a local program operator is not an obstacle to creating an EPD.

The following map shows which countries have their own program operator. Some countries even have several of them (e.g. Germany).


Region is important for countries with additional local requirements. This has been done, for example, by France and the Netherlands. If the main target country is one of these countries, it is worth doing preliminary work first to make sure that the right program is chosen.

The working language of the program is also related to the previous point. In most cases, it is only English or English in addition to another language. In comparison, the working language of the INIES program in France is only French, so all necessary documents must be submitted to them in French. This also entails the cost of document translation.

The next point is the price of publication. The fee for publishing a single EPD can vary widely between programs. Some program operators have set a fixed price per EPD, while others calculate the fee according to the company's turnover and number of employees, for example.

If it is important that the EPD can also be publishedin the ECO Platform, when choosing a program, must monitor whether they cooperate with the ECO Platform. ECO Platform consolidates EPDs of different programs into one database in a machine-readable format. In some programs, all EPDs also go directly to the ECO Platform (e.g. International EPD System), in others you have to express a separate request and pay an additional fee (e.g. RTS).


For an Estonian producer who exports mainly to Scandinavia and wants to publish 1-2 EPDs, the Finnish program RTS is usually the most suitable and affordable. They have set a fixed price for publishing EPDs. If the number of EPDs is already larger, the International EPD System may be a cheaper option (publishing the first EPD with them costs 1000 euros, but publishing the fifth, for example, 100 euros).


For an Estonian manufacturer that exports mainly to Scandinavia, it could be a good choice, for example:

RTS (Finland) - fixed price,link to the price list

International EPD System (Sweden) - the price depends on the size of the company,link to the price list


look here, which of the Estonian producers have already prepared an EPD and which program they chose for it.


Piirkond on oluline riikide puhul, kus on kehtestatud kohalikud lisanõuded. Seda on teinud näiteks Prantsusmaa ja Holland. Kui põhiliseks sihtriigiks on mõni selline riik, tasub enne teha eeltööd, et oleks kindel, et valitud on õige programm.

Eelmise punktiga on seotud ka programmi töökeel. Enamasti on selleks kas ainult inglise keel või mõne teise keele kõrval lisaks veel inglise keel. Võrdluseks aga on Prantsusmaa programmi INIESi töökeel on ainult prantsuse keel, mistõttu tuleb kõik vajalikud dokumendid esitada neile prantsuskeelsetena. See toob endaga kaasa ka dokumentide tõlkimise kulu.

Järgmiseks punktiks ongi avaldamise hind. Ühe EPD avaldamise tasu võib programmide lõikes kõikuda väga suures vahemikus. Mõni programmioperaator on kehtestanud EPD kohta fikseeritud hinna, teine aga arvestab tasu ettevõtte näiteks käibe ja töötajate arvu järgi.

Kui on oluline, et EPD saaks avaldatud ka ECO Platformis, peab programmi valikul jälgima, kas nad teevad ECO Platformiga koostööd. ECO Platform koondab eri programmide EPD-de ühte andmebaasi masinloetavas formaadis. Mõnes programmis lähevad kõik EPDd otse ka ECO Platformi (nt International EPD System), teises peab selleks avaldama eraldi soovi ja maksma lisatasu (nt RTS).

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