There is increasing demand for Material Transparency of
environmental reporting from the supply chain, product specifiers
and owners. It's no longer enough for products to mention their
green or environmental performance qualities in marketing materials
or other product collateral. A more sophisticated level of product
transparency is necessary to support business decisions regarding
thermal performance and the building envelope.
Environmental Product Declarations (EPDs) are industry accepted
which helps manufacturers accurately disclose relevant information
about the environmental impact of products or systems. Kingspan
Panels, as a market leader in sustainability and environmental
efforts is a leader in EPD development in the insulated metal panel
(IMP) industry. In 2011, the manufacturer of architectural wall
systems announced their recently UL certified ISO 14025 compliant
An EPD is a comprehensive disclosure of a product's life cycle
based on environmental impacts of manufacturing processes. EPDs
adhere to industry standard prescribed guidelines and are required
to be validated by an independent third party.
An EPD reports information on a product's environmental impacts,
including global warming (overall carbon footprint), ozone
depletion, ozone creation, land and water pollution (EUTROPHICATION
and ACIDIFICATION POTENTIAL) of their manufacturing processes and
their supply chain.The EPD may also contain health related and
other impacts which may be important to the building team and end
The basis for EPD reporting is the Product Category Rule (PCR)
specific to an end product or material, that are developed by
various industry participants in consensus collaboration in
accordance with international ISO standards. Kingspan was an active
participant in the PCR development for preparing an Environmental
Product Declaration (EPD) for the Product Category: Insulated Metal
Panels & Composite Metal Panels, and Metal
Cladding: Roof and Wall Panels.
A PCR (Product Category Rule) defines the product category by
identifying the scope and boundaries of environmental impacts and
manufacturing processes the manufacturer must disclose.
The PCR is the framework by which the manufacturer or industry
reports a summary of the required LCA - Life Cycle Assessment as an
EPD (Environmental Product Declaration). The LCA details product
information throughout the entire life of the product based on the
criteria in the PCR.
An EPD is how an LCA is publicly reported and is in summary form
that can be used for product comparison and evaluation. The
required LCA is largely utilized as an internal document for the
purposes of improving manufacturing processes as well as the basis
for EPD reporting.
Third Party Certification
The accuracy and objectivity in an EPD is validated by third
party certification through an independent "Program Operator" such
as ULe (UL Environmental). Kingspan's EPD, encompasses both wall
and roof panel systems and are certified by UL Environment.
Kingspan's EPD was the first of its kind certified by ULe (UL
Most EPDs use a "Cradle to Gate" approach based on the PCR,
reporting environmental impacts from upstream suppliers through the
product manufacturing processes delivered to the job site.
Kingspan, as a global environmental market leader, and manufacturer
of insulated wall panel products, adopted a "Cradle to Grave"
approach, including a "Use Phase" study on the energy efficiency
benefits and related GHG reductions with a sensitivity study on end
of life (EOL) as part of their UL Certified ISO 14025 compliant
Transparency Brief - the next evolution
In an effort to further simplify the important aspects of the
certified EPD environmental reporting UL Environment developed a
"Transparency Brief". This document is exactly what it says, a
A single EPD covers multiple assemblies or configurations of a
product, a Transparency Brief is more specific. So where Kingspan's
EPD covers the broad product category of Thermal Building Envelope
Insulation Products, the Transparency Brief helps zero in on the
environmental performance aspects of Kingspan Panels' products
specifically, i.e. Insulated Metal
Roof and Wall Panel Systems.
The EPD Transparency Brief condenses information into a two page
format that, in Kingspan's case, is like a nutrition label for
environmental impacts of Insulated Metal Panels - wall and roof.
The EPD Transparency Brief is ideal for a quick read of key
environmental impact categories for the purposes of early
evaluation and specification while the complete EPD provides a more
comprehensive report. "Green" rating systems and related codes as
well as design teams are driving Material Transparency reporting
that is causing continued development and use of EPDs and
corresponding Transparency Briefs.