WHAT ARE THE STEPS FOR ISSUING AN EPD?
It is not mandatory to use the help of an external expert when preparing the EPD. Manufacturers are allowed to carry out a life cycle analysis and prepare the necessary documents themselves. However, the subsequent part (i.e. certification and publication of the EPD) must take place in the same way as in the case of an outsourced service - the verifier must be an independent expert and the EPD must be published in a recognized EPD program.
How does the EPD preparation process differ between an outsourced service and self-preparation?
EPD preparation consists of five main steps (read more here).
Data collection is understandably the responsibility of the manufacturer - no one else knows the product or the production process better. However, LCA Support can guide and explain what information needs to be collected, what is worth focusing more on, and which indicators are expected to have a significant or insignificant impact.
When the data is together, a life cycle analysis must be done and an EPD document and a background report must be completed. Analysis involves building a model and calculating the effects. Already published EPDs (if they match the material used) and general data obtained from databases are included in the model. Often, choosing the right data series requires some research and background information.
Analysis and documentation must meet all applicable requirements and conditions. General standards related to EPD preparation are, for example, ISO 14044, ISO 14025 and EN 15804. For some product groups (e.g. wood, glass, cavity fillers) additional standards have been prepared that must also be taken into account. In addition, each program operator has prepared instructions for their own program and additional instructions for certain products, which must be known and followed precisely. There are also many nuances related to the formalization of documents. Combing through standards and guidelines can be a very time- and labor-intensive activity. LCA Support knows all the necessary standards and can take them into account.
Once the necessary documents are ready, they can be sent to the verifier. If the producer prepares the EPD himself, he must also find the verifier himself and agree on working conditions with him. Here, LCA Support can make the life of the manufacturer easier - we find the verifier and negotiate with him.
When publishing an EPD, the manufacturer must in any case send an application to the program operator himself. However, we can also guide you here and answer questions that may arise.
What could be the price difference?
Initially, you might feel that if you prepare the EPD yourself, you can save money in this way. Unfortunately, this may not always be true.
First of all, you should consider your employee's time consumption. When preparing an EPD for the first time, a lot of new information needs to be clarified. At the same time, however, there are extremely few materials in Estonian (and in fact also in English) that explain calculation principles and other necessary things in simple language. In general, the rules are written in bulk standards and official manuals.
Another very large cost of creating an EPD is the licenses for the necessary programs and databases. Depending on the payment type (annual subscription or one-time fee for lifetime rights), licenses can cost up to 14,000 euros or even more.
In addition to the price, subsidies are also worth mentioning. Support can be applied for from several schemes to prepare an EPD. With the support of the Center for Environmental Investments (KIK), you could prepare an EPD for yourself, for examplePeetri Puit OÜ (link to EPD).
There will be two application rounds in 2023. The first round opens on February 17 and the second in the fall. More detailed information can be found on KIK's website.
It is also open at the momentEAS Green Support measure, which allows the preparation of an EPD as part of a green audit. Applications are ongoing and will last until the end of May 2024.
Usually, grants can cover the fee of an external expert, but not the salary of your own employee. In such a case, it is possible that the outsourced service is even a significantly cheaper option in the end than preparing the EPD in-house.
look here, who among the Estonian producers have already prepared an EPD.