Community Research and Development Information Service - CORDIS

Communicating environmental performance

A European project has developed a method for the smaller company to make the first low-cost step into any national or international environmental product declaration (EPD) programme.
Communicating environmental performance
An EPD communicates the environmental performance of a product such as energy use and efficiency or content of materials and chemical substances. As such, an EPD will aid a business to join emerging markets for ‘environmentally superior’ products and services. The EU-funded project ‘Stepwise environmental product declaration’ (Stepwise EPD) helped a group of SMEs has devised a method to help small and medium-sized enterprises to embrace environmental product declarations (EPDs).

The project first studied the impact of EPDs on the environment and on the market. It then identified different means of using EPDs to promote a product or company while recommending ways in which products could be improved from an environmental perspective. Stepwise EPD then identified at least two or more environmentally significant ideas per investigated product, implementing one or more of these into product design and manufacturing.

Overall, the project successfully outlined and applied several mechanisms regarding how EPDs could help market a product or company, exceeding initial expectations. For example, it integrated the EPD into sales meetings and included it in a product launch or company bid with excellent results.

Representing one of its most significant results, the project found that EPDs are better suited to highlighting a product's environmental profile rather than to marketing its environmental performance. It also found that an EPD based on life-cycle assessment (LCA) represents a strong basis for implementing a product's eco-design. The project overall has helped raise competitiveness of SME products and profiles, undoubtedly offering a desirable boost to the European economy and leading industry by example.

Related information

Follow us on: RSS Facebook Twitter YouTube Managed by the EU Publications Office Top