The EPD Shift: History in the Making

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  • By Pan Chaoyang
  • Date March 19th, 2014 09:00
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  • It always exhilarating to watch a market evolve. It's even more exhilarating to be part of it.

    In 2012, lecturing on EPDs in China was a waste of time. Even the handful of companies who had EPDs had no idea what they actually were. EDPs (Environmental Product Declarations) are exactly what the name implies: a declaration of the environmental impact of products. (For more on EPDs, see the Glossary.)

    Fast forward to the end of 2013 and things started to change. Although not many people in China took note, LEED v4 was released featuring a quantum leap forward on how it considered materials (finally), including recognition of EPDs. At about the same time Interface released the first ever EPDs for building materials manufactured in China: far, far, far ahead of anyone else.

    Meanwhile, our research team has been working on translating the EPD format into Chinese. The format will be freely available to anyone wishing to pursue an EPD. However, the first to step forward was Forbo and on Tuesday March 18th, we announced the first Chinese language EPD in green building history. It seems appropriate coming from a company with a 150 year history of innovation.

    Interface is also hard at work on translating all of its China EPDs, so expect to see this soon.

    There are more innovations to come. We've been working hard to localize the EPD process and will soon be releasing the first one to be entirely researched and authored in China: also an innovative flooring company.

    The last point is worth noting. In terms of environmental leadership, the flooring industry still towers above most of the others, thanks in large part to Ray Anderson. In close second is office furniture, which is most likely where the next Chinese EPDs will be coming from.

    Now, all we need are a few leaders in the remaining industries.

    To find out more, join us for our special event with some of the world's leading influencers in this space, including the USGBC, SRIBS, UL, CannonDesign and Gensler.
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