Businesses are setting a new benchmark with the introduction of
Environmental Product Declarations (EPDs) that differentiate products and
provide clarity in procurement.
A published EPD is an independently verified and registered document
that communicates transparent and comparable information about the
environmental impact of a product through its entire life cycle. This data is
collected using the internationally recognised life cycle assessment
methodology and ISO 14025 principles and procedures.
By demanding EPDs on specified products, a business can reduce the risk
of any unexpected surprises, protect the reputation of their brand, and make
the right choices. For instance, businesses aiming to reduce their Scope 3 GHG
emissions can use EPDs to identify products produced using high percentages of
renewable energy to reduce their carbon footprint in their supply chain.
The popular toilet paper and hand towel products from the Tork
Professional Hygiene range have recently become the first hygiene products with
EPDs in Australasia.
According to Sid Takla, Executive General Manager B2B at Tork’s parent
company Asaleo Care, they were drawn to EPDs because of their transparency,
credibility and ability to speak to the product’s entire life cycle. He added
that EPDs will also allow them to identify hot spots within their value chain so
that improvements can be made to reduce impact.
The life cycle assessment of Tork Conventional Toilet Paper identifies
the product as having been produced with 70 percent renewable energy. This has
been achieved through the direct use of geothermal steam in the paper making
process and also due to New Zealand’s high proportion of renewable energy
within the grid. The raw materials are additionally sourced from 100 percent
responsibly managed forests.
An EPD gives a decision maker in Green Procurement an immediate,
reliable, transparent and quantitative way to evaluate a product with its embodied
energy, global warming potential, use of natural resources, emissions to air,
soil and water, and waste generation all available for review.