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2 – EPD 101: Embodied Carbon Accounting for Materials

This factsheet explains what Environmental Product Declarations (EPDs) are, how they are created and the pathways to use them in policy.

Industrial policies that target the reduction of emissions from construction products, like “Buy Clean” policies, need data to track and set limits for the emissions of different products.

Environmental product declarations (EPDs) are standardized, third-party-verified documents that report the environmental impacts of a product based on a product life cycle assessment (LCA). This document provides an overview of EPDs in the context of policy.

EPDs are the right tool for product-embodied carbon reporting in policies

A product life cycle assessment (LCA) is a method for quantifying the environmental impacts of a product over its life cycle. EPDs disclose the results of product LCAs. LCAs can also be done for buildings or infrastructure projects. Greenhouse gas emissions, including carbon dioxide, are added up over the product’s life cycle and reported
as global warming potential (GWP). EPDs also include other environmental impacts, such as acidification, eutrophication, ozone depletion, and smog formation.


Meghan Lewis
Brook Waldman
Michelle Lambert

Graphic Design

Sindhu Raju

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