Most industry associations recommend environmental product declarations (EPDs) because having one for a product can play an important role in getting it specified for sustainable projects. For instance, the U.S. Green Building Council’s LEED program, the Architecture 2030 Challenge for Products, and the International Green Construction Code all award points for the use of products with EPDs.

Yet, the vast majority of producers (89%) who took the 2016 TCP Survey do not bother with the often costly expense of acquiring EPDs, mainly because their customers do not ask for them. Perhaps this is because three-quarters of producers say no more than 25% of the projects they work on have sustainability requirements.

What percentage of your projects have sustainability requirements?

0 - 25%75%
26 - 50%16%
51 - 75%7%
76 - 100%2%

Source: The Concrete Producer

What is an EPD?

An EPD is often compared to a food nutrition label, except it lists things like carbon dioxide generation, water use, and heavy metals content. This comprehensive summary report describes the environmental impacts of a material’s production. Based on lifecycle assessment and often verified by a third party, they essentially prove a product’s impact on the environment.

Producers who are interested in acquiring EPDs for their products should check in with associations to see if they have made industry-average EPDs available to members. The Portland Cement Association provides EPDs on portland, masonry, and blended cements, and the National Ready Mixed Concrete Association (NRMCA) EPD Program provides several industry-average and plant-specific EPDs as well as assistance in getting NRMCA-certified EPDs for members’ products.

Have you found environmental product declarations (EPDs) to be valuable marketing tools?


Source: The Concrete Producer

What Produces are Saying about EPDs

“LEED ratings for energy codes are important in each building.”
“They’re not yet relevant to owners and specifiers.”
“They are too expensive to acquire.”
“Never heard of them."