ALCAS is looking to introduce new ECO-EPD program to Australia

ALCAS is looking to introduce new ECO-EPD program to Australia

Date: 11.01.2012

Environmental Product Declarations (EPDs) are becoming a global currency for environmental claims with Green Building rating schemes globally and the market place in Europe increasingly demanding EPDs for building products.

As ALCAS is Australia's peak professional body relating to life cycle assessment, management and thinking, the Board will be considering ALCAS introducing an Australian modified version of the new European ECO-EPD platform into Australia. In doing so ALCAS would become the National Registrar for EPDs and, importantly, the Product Category Rulesthat sit behind EPDs to ensure consistency and comparability between EPDs.

The ECO-EPD program is underpinned by the new EU Norm EN 15804. Since late last year, when the EPD programs from 25 different organisations representing 17 European countries (including Finland, France, Germany, Great Britain, Italy, the Netherlands, Norway, Portugal, Sweden and Spain) signed an MoU they have been working together to establish a pan-European EPD Platform, ECO-EPD. Signatories to the MoU also include numerous national Green Building Councils.

The ECO Platform aims to initiate the development of a uniform European core EPD. The basis for this is the technically finalised work on environmental standards produced by the European Standardisation Committee (CEN/TC 350) as part of the standardised methods forassessing the sustainability of buildings. European standards governing the sustainability of buildings require the construction material EPDs to be applied for evaluating ecological building quality during building certification.

In moving forward with this idea, ALCAS and LCANZ (Life Cycle Association New Zealand) are in discussion to develop an Australasian Registry to ensure trans-Tasman consistency.

According to David Baggs ALCAS President, 'This is an important initiative that ALCAS and LCANZ are considering, it would ensure that all EPDs performed in Australia and New Zealand are compatible with those in the EU. This should facilitate the export of our manufactured goods into the EU, the world's largest single marketplace, with a GDP of nearly USD$18 trillion. It would also facilitate local markets, in particular the green building sector. Utilising EPDs increases the focus on life cycle assessment in general'.

The process to introduce the ECO-EPD Program is set to move quite quickly following the finalisation of the work to rationalise the various EPD standards in the EU by the middle of February 2012. Then a process of ensuring the model PCRs are relevant to Australasian market conditions would begin.


For an interview with David Baggs President Australian Life Cycle Assessment Society (ALCAS) please call Rilke Muir: True Words Divined, 0424 468 486 (or +61 424468486)

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