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AS I SEE IT Westwick-Farrow Media A.B.N. 22 152 305 336 Head Office Cnr. Fox Valley Road & Kiogle Street,


(Locked Bag 1289) Wahroonga NSW 2076 AUSTRALIA ph: +61 2 9487 2700 fx: +61 2 9489 1265 Editor Carolyn Jackson

What are Environmental Product Declarations (EPDs) and how are they changing B2B sales conversations? Jonas Bengtsson, CEO and co-founder of Edge Enivironment, provides his opinions. A recent market study conducted by Accenture and the UN revealed that 85% of consumers expect companies to improve their quality of life, which goes in hand with addressing environmental and societal impact of their business. In fact, they put as much pressure on business as on government. Blame it on generational turnover, regulatory pressure, The Great Sinister Hippy Lobby or common sense — it doesn’ t matter — the market is growing eco-savvier and the trend isn’t slowing down. A business unwilling to pick up its slack, or hoping to hide within complex supply chains, is more and more likely to face scrutiny or be selected out. Ask VW, BP, BHP and Bhopal how the environment factors into their share value and business success. Ask the merchants for palm oil, rainforest timber furniture and tiger prawns if they have to spend much of their time on the defensive before they get even close to pitching their product. You have two options: 1. Hope that a competitive price and track record will keep you sweet. 2. Adapt and excel in the new information and transparency-hungry world. As a supplier, you don’t want to carry around a thousand-piece jigsaw puzzle of documents and reports to demonstrate your credentials in the technical, environment and social spheres. You’ll want a one-stopshop, straight-to-the-point, comprehensive, credible and transparent document. As a customer, wouldn’t it be great if you could have complete transparency and trust in the products and services you buy? And wouldn’t it be great if you could find that information in one place? Enter the one-stop shop for product information — Environmental Product Declarations, or EPDs. An Environmental

78 INSIGHTS 2017

Product Declaration, or EPD, is a standardised and verified way of quantifying the environmental impacts of a product based on a consistent set of rules known as PCRs (Product Category Rules). Industry experts can develop EPD reporting rules for any product or service and the ISO 14025 standard sets the reporting scope. Every EPD is independently verified to ensure the information data is correct and balanced. Green buildings and infrastructure rating tools and government design and procurement guidelines are singling out EPDs as the go-to credentials and building block for optimised designs and solutions. According to Jorge Chapa, the Green Building Council of Australia’s director of market transformation, both manufacturers and buyers benefit from EPDs. “EPDs give manufacturers a tool that can help them identify opportunities for improvement along their supply chain and also a strong selling point that increasingly resonates with environmentally aware consumers. For buyers, an EPD provides a framework for making informed product comparisons.” EPDs are ideal for organisations looking to source goods and services in a way that achieves value for money and generates benefits — not only to the organisation but also to society and the economy — while minimising damage to the environment. The new sustainable procurement standard ISO 20400 (currently BS8903) coming out next year provides the framework for how EPDs and life cycle thinking fits together. “EPDs provide transparent and clear information to help us identify products that will reduce the environmental impact of our developments across their entire life cycle,” said Paolo Bevilacqua, general manager, sustainability – Frasers Property Australia. Life cycle management is added to the new ISO 14001:2015 for environmental management. EPDs offer the standardised information exchange format from your suppliers to you, and from you to your clients and stakeholders.

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