Environmental Product Declaration (EPDs)
With the growing demand for sustainable products and buildings comes 'greenwash' - our market has become a sea of green claims and labels that are largely unsubstantiated and difficult to navigate. For example, how do you choose between 100% recycled, 100% organic and 100% eco-verified?
The Choice is Clear with EPDs
An Environmental Product Declaration (EPD) is a detailed report of product ingredients and environmental impacts that occur over the entire life cycle of a product. Similar to the way in which food nutrition tables reveal scores in health categories like sugars, fat and salt, EPDs detail the impacts products have in environmental categories like scarce resource depletion, energy use, waste generation, air, soil and water emissions.
Importantly, an EPD is not just a green claim or a promise. EPDs reveal information usually considered confidential by companies. They provide detailed product information in a consistent way, certified to a public international standard, and verified by a credible third party. EPDs go beyond labels and claims and provide complete transparency.
Committed to Product Transparency
Interface is committed to complete product transparency. We're now more than 85% of the way toward our goal of obtaining third party validated EPDs on all Interface products by the end of 2012, globally.
Interface is the first carpet tile manufacturer in Australia to release a third party verified EPD. Our Australian EPDs fit into four product categories:
This achievement exemplifies our commitment to openness and to presenting the environmental performance data that our customers need to make truly informed decisions.
Why Create an EPD?
Interface advocates openness, particularly when it comes to the environmental impact of products, and EPDs provide the transparency the market is increasingly requesting.
Our EPDs reveal the raw materials associated with the production of nylon yarn have the most environmental impact. This knowledge drives us to continually work with our suppliers to reduce the virgin raw material content of yarn in our products. Through a partnership with one of our yarn suppliers, we have been able to produce the world's first commercial carpet range to contain 100% recycled nylon yarn. When combined with our GlasBac®RE backing, this product contains 76% total recycled content.
Because EPDs are 3rd party verified against ISO 14025 and ISO 14040 they not only provide full environmental disclosure, but they do so in a way that enables direct apples-to-apples comparison of products within a category, like flooring.
So decisions need no longer be made on pass/fail certifications or marketing claims - EPDs give you the ability to compare and choose products based on the environmental impacts that matter to you most.
The Future of Green Purchasing
Interface believe EPDs will become the standard for environmental product information soon, and architects and interior designers will be required to acquire comparable verified information about building products for specifications.
EPDs are already being recognised by the USGBC LEED program and are being encouraged by the European Union. They are also now under consideration by the Green Building Council of Australia (GBCA) as part of their LCA Discussion Paper.
Globally, Interface supports this development and aims to have EPDs for all products by end 2012.
Go beyond labels and claims and discover more about how EPDs are created.