The ISO 14020 standard distinguishes three types of environmental labels, namely:
- TYPE I (ISO 14024): voluntary ecological labels based on a system that considers the entire life cycle of the product. They are subjected to external certification by a competent body, which can be public or private.
- TYPE II (ISO 14021): environmental self-declaration, where information is provided by producers, importers or distributors of products but without the intervention of an independent certification body. In any case, there are constraints regarding the contents and methods of dissemination.
- TYPE III (ISO 14025): environmental product declaration, or EPD, contains objective and quantifiable information on the environmental impact associated with the life cycle of a product. Verification and validation activities are carried out by accredited third party bodies.
The DAP uses the Life Cycle Assessment (LCA – Life Cycle Assessment) as a methodology for the identification and quantification of environmental impacts. The application must comply with the provisions of the ISO 14040 series standards, in order to guarantee the objectivity of the information contained in the declaration.
HOW TO OBTAIN THE CERTIFICATION OF AN ENVIRONMENTAL PRODUCT DECLARATION
To obtain the certification of an Environmental Product Declaration, it is necessary to check the availability of the “Product Specific Rules” for the type of product or service for which the DAP is to be prepared.
If they are already available, the Organization must:
- carry out an LCA study of the product/service (in compliance with the reference standards of the ISO 14040 series), also taking into account the applicable PCRs;
- draw up the Environmental Product Declaration;
- draw up a descriptive report of the LCA study carried out;
- submit the LCA study and the DAP to validation by an “independent third party” (certification body).
If the DAP and the LCA study are adequate, the institution validates the Environmental Product Declaration. Subsequently, the Organization requests the registration of the Statement in the EDP Register, acquiring the right to use the related logo; the Declaration is valid for three years.
If the PCRs are not yet available then the Organization must first develop a specific PCR for the type of product/service and request its approval; While waiting for the PCR to be approved by the competent Body, the Organization can request the pre-certification of the DAP.
ADVANTAGES OF THE ENVIRONMENTAL PRODUCT DECLARATION
- The advantages of the DAP concern both producers and consumers;
- Manufacturers can demonstrate that they are attentive and sensitive to environmental issues, having conducted in-depth analyzes of their product or service regarding the environmental impact;
- Consumers can obtain clear and transparent information about the product/service itself.
Among the other benefits of the Environmental Product Declaration are:
- internationally recognized certification;
- applicability to all types of product or service, regardless of their positioning in the production chain;
- accuracy of the information, obtained from objective analyses, credible and easily comparable with other products/services in the same sector;
- transparent communication of the environmental performance of your product/service;
- improvement of the corporate image and reputation, thanks to the adoption of sustainability policies.