Environmental Product Declarations (EPD)

NCC’s first Environmental Product Declaration (EPD) was obtained for its maintenance-free stainless steel bridge. The validity of the input data and the calculation results for this Environmental Product Declaration have been verified by an independent party and approved by Environdec. Development work is also underway to produce Environmental Product Declarations for other civil engineering and construction projects.

NCC's Environmental Product Declaration describes the environmental performance of the building, its operation and maintenance, and also the demolition of the building at the end of its life.

The following environmental aspects are assessed:

Resources and energy for the project

  • Use of non-renewable materials
  • Use of renewable materials
  • Use of recycled materials
  • Use of non-renewable energy
  • Use of renewable energy
  • Water use
  • Land use

Emissioner and materials from the project

  • Global warming
  • Acidification
  • Ozone depletion
  • Photochemical ozone (smog)
  • Eutrophication
  • Recyclable materials
  • Non-hazardous waste
  • Hazardous waste

Life cycle analyses

The environmental performance of NCC's buildings and civil engineering projects is assessed with the help of life cycle analysis (LCA). Previous life cycle analyses show that different types of products have the greatest impact on the climate during different phases of their respective life cycles.

Products with a long lifetime and products that consume a great deal of energy make the greatest environmental impact during the use phase, while other products have the greatest environmental impact during the production phase. In many cases, life cycle analyses are a necessary tool in identifying the areas where work can most effectively be targeted to reduce the environmental impact of a product.

Environmental product declarations

In contrast to a pure LCA, Environmental Product Declarations (EPD) set out clear requirements concerning transparency and verification, and they are used to document the environmental performance of the product or project.

EPDs can be used to compare between similar products. The new versions of environmental certification systems for buildings such as LEED 2014 and BREEAM 2013 were also based around LCAs and began requiring verifiable Environmental Product Declarations as proof of the environmental performance of the building products used in the project.

Ever tougher requirements

Ongoing international standardization work is setting ever tougher requirements concerning verification that innovative building product solutions are climate-smart or "green". NCC has therefore chosen to follow the international ISO standards 14040, 14044 and EN 15804 and to report environmental performance in line with the international EPD system.

Environmental Product Declarations can serve as verification of environmental performance for a newly developed product, when following up a completed construction or civil engineering project and also in a procurement situation. Being able to verify climate and environmental performance of the contractor's own products and construction systems in comparison with the industry average will prove a major competitive advantage in coming years.