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EPDs: value in third-party verification

11 July 2022

Why are Environmental Product Declarations (EPDs) of value? In short, as a third party verified and registered document, EPD’s contain important and relevant data and information on a product’s lifecycle and environmental impact.

It’s the transparency on the environmental performance of a product offered by an EPD which is so important to customers and stakeholders.

“Customers demand availability, standardisation and greater transparency on the environmental performance of the materials they use. Our EPDs play a key role in InfraBuild’s overall approach to the environmentally sustainable manufacture of our products and how they are utilised in the built environment,”

says InfraBuild Manager, Sustainability and Insight David Bell.

InfraBuild’s EPDs have been developed in conjunction with thinkstep-anz and independently verified by start2see. Both businesses are highly regarded in terms of Life Cycle Assessment, independent verification and knowledge of the measures underpinning lifecycle thinking – all vital to environmental management systems.

“Sustainability has evolved from a “nice-to-have” to a Board level issue,” says start2see’s Rob Rouwette.

“Investors are becoming more aware of sustainability risks, and the public expects businesses to be better corporate citizens. If a business is currently not thinking about how they would position themselves in a low-carbon economy, they are doing it wrong,” Rob says.

For Barbara Nebel, CEO of thinkstep-anz, the independence and third-party certified nature of EPDs essentially means ‘trust’ for someone looking at a business’ EPD.

“They can trust the information. All EPDs are verified by an independent verifier. Some of our thinkstep-anz team are approved verifiers and we know the rigorous process involved in becoming ‘approved’. We can only verify EPDs we haven’t done ourselves – that’s the independence.

“EPDs provide your stakeholders, including funders, specifiers and customers, with reputable, globally-recognised information about your products’ environmental footprints. They show that you’re serious about making your products more sustainable and can help you build your brand and customer loyalty,” says Barbara.

Accurate and verified

Covering a range of Australian made steel products manufactured, processed and distributed by InfraBuild, each EPD provides customers with specific and accurate information about assessed product categories.

Our assessed product categories include reinforcing rod, bar and wire as well as hot rolled structural and merchant bar from InfraBuild; reinforcing bar and mesh from InfraBuild Reinforcing and ARC; and processed hot rolled structural and merchant bar from our InfraBuild Steel Centre branches.

Published and verified to be compliant with EN 15804 and International Standard ISO 14025, all InfraBuild’s EPDs also meet the compliance requirements of a valid EPD recognised in the Green Star Rating Tools (Green Building Council of Australia) and the IS® Rating Tools (Infrastructure Sustainability Council).

“The market trusts EPDs because they are independently verified” says Rob Rouwette. “Due to their standardised format, EPDs provide customers and stakeholders an opportunity to evaluate the environmental performance of multiple products from different suppliers on the same basis,” Rob explains.

EPDs quantify the environmental impacts of products, in a standardised and verified way, based on a consistent set of rules known as Product Category Rules (PCR). The results contained in each EPD represent the assessed product and offer customers confidence that the environmental data for products in each EPD is accurate and verified.

Barbara goes further, “EPDs help manufacturers translate complex sustainability information about their products’ environmental footprints into simpler information that stakeholders can trust to make decisions.”

The range of revalidated and rebranded EPDs for InfraBuild have recently been republished by EPD Australasia and are available for download from here.

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