Environmental communication

Organisational chart Excerpt Environmental Communication

© researchgroup Ecodesign TU Wien

Communicate the improved environmental performance

After improving the environmental performance of a product, the results should also be communicated on the market. Possible advantages are a better corporate image, environmental awareness raising, an increased market share, etc. The ISO standards differentiate between three different types of environmental communication:

  • Type I: Eco-labels certified by an independent third party (ISO 14024)
  • Type II: Self-declared environmental claims (ISO 14021)
  • Type III: Environmental product declarations (EPD) based on LCA results (ISO 14025)

The table shows the characteristics and application areas of the three different types:

Type I - Eco-labels - ISO 14024 (e.g. Blue Angel)

Target audience: B2C

Communication method: Eco-label

Scope: Whole life cycle

Use of LCA: no

Advantages:

  • Easily identifiable
  • Credibility through third party
  • Product specific requirements

Disadvantages:

  • No detailed information
  • No linkage to company's unique efforts

Typical application areas:

  • Home use products
  • Simple function products
  • Low-priced products
Type II - Self-declared environmental claims - ISO 14021

Target audience: B2C,B2B, Public

Communication method:  Text and symbol

Scope: Single aspects

Use of LCA: yes

Advantages:

  • Market oriented
  • Flexible approach to market needs

Disadvantages:

  • Relatively low credibility
  • No life cycle scope

Typical application areas:

  • Applicable for all products
Typ III- Environmental Product Declarations (EPD) nach ISO 14025

Target audience: B2B, Public

Communication method:  Environmental profile data sheet

Scope: Whole life cycle

Use of LCA: yes

Advantages:

  • Detailed data via common method
  • Credibility via scientific quantitative data

Disadvantages:

  • Complexity of LCA results
  • Uncertainty regarding back ground data
  • Not easy to comprehend

Typical application areas:

  • High complexity
  • High-priced products
  • Long lifetime and length of use

  

Logo in big letters EPD

© EPD

The International EPD System is a global program for the dissemination and implementation of EPDs. The website provides both data bases for Product Category Rules, opens an external URL in a new window, PCRs - which are "how-to" rules for the provision of LCAs - and EPDs, opens an external URL in a new window.

[Translate to English:] Bombardier Logo

© Bomardier

Example EPD of the Flexity Outlook Valencia (PDF), developed during the research project Mechatelligence for Light Rail Vehicles, for a tramway of the company Bombardier transportation.