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Environmental product declarations

In UK Construction, the term Environmental Product Declaration (EPD) refers to third-party verified declarations of the environmental impacts associated with the manufacture, use, and end-of-life of construction products. EPDs are the outputs of Life Cycle Assessments (LCA) carried out on products in accordance with EN 15804, the European standard introduced in 2012 to provide the rules for companies and industries to assess environmental impacts and develop EPDs.

The driver for EN 15804, and LCA in general, was the need for true comparisons between similar products, but also between very different products performing the same functions. Achieving this is a huge task and hence, under EN 15804, additional Product Category Rules (PCRs) were introduced to provide a further level of detail. EPDs can cover the whole life cycle of products: Cradle-to-Grave. In EN 15804, this is modules A to C. Within each life cycle module there are subsets such as A4 (transport to site) or B4 (replacement of used product). When comparing EPDs, designers must ensure that the EPDs they are using cover the same modules and are both functionally equivalent.

MPA Masonry worked closely with sustainability consultants One Click LCA on developing a life cycle assessment template for the purpose of producing verified Environmental Product Declarations (EPDs) for blocks in accordance with BS EN 15804 +A2. The template developed is robust and accurate but also user-friendly for manufacturers of any size. The One Click LCA tool has an extensive list of hundreds of material inputs covering all the commonly used aggregates, cements, reinforcements, and admixtures.

The tool has been externally verified by the International EPD® System and a number of generic EPDs across MPA Masonry are currently being developed for the sector and by members of MPA Masonry.

This is not the first EPD project for MPA Masonry. Back in 2016, MPA Masonry published two EPDs as part of a similar project with thinkstep (part of Sphera) and published with the German IBU EPD scheme. These EPDs are currently being updated but can be found below.