What do you declare?

Environmental Product Declarations may change the way roofing projects are specified

An Environmental Product Declaration (EPD®) is a disclosure document that provides quantitative environmental impact data based on products' life cycles. The reported data can be used in the material selection process for construction projects.

Although it currently is unusual for roofing project specifications to require roofing products with EPDs, using roofing products with EPDs is becoming more common in the roofing industry. It's a good idea to become familiar with how EPDs are developed and how they may be required.

How are EPDs developed?

EPDs are a type of ecolabel, which is a document that discloses or reports environmental or sustainability data for products, including construction materials, to assist consumers with selecting products. Ecolabels are developed based on the International Standards Organization (ISO) 14000 series of environmental standards. ISO 14020, "Environmental Labels and Declarations—General Principles," establishes three main types of ecolabels:

  • Type I: ISO 14024, "Environmental Labels and Declarations—Type 1 Environmental Labelling—Principles and Procedures"
    • Multicriteria label describing attributes or characteristics for the performance and use of a product
    • Reviewed by a third party
    • Not based on a life cycle assessment (LCA)
  • Type II: ISO 14021, "Environmental Labels and Declarations—Self-declared Environmental Claims (Type II Environmental Labelling)"
    • Requirements for a manufacturer to self-declare environmental impact information
    • Not based on an LCA
  • Type III: ISO 14025, "Environmental Labels and Declarations—Type III Environmental Declarations—Principles and Procedures."
    • Environmental impact data based on an LCA
    • Reviewed by a third party