Over 390,000 times envi­ron­men­tal prod­uct dec­la­ra­tions were down­loaded from the web­site of Insti­tut Bauen und Umwelt e. V. (IBU) last year — more than ever before. 

The high demand illus­trates the grow­ing influ­ence of EPDs on the sus­tain­abil­i­ty assess­ment of build­ings. The IBU is thus mak­ing an impor­tant con­tri­bu­tion to pro­vid­ing trans­paren­cy on the eco­log­i­cal foot­print of build­ing products.

Envi­ron­men­tal Prod­uct Dec­la­ra­tions (EPDs) are an impor­tant tool in the con­struc­tion indus­try for pro­vid­ing fac­tu­al, neu­tral and sci­en­tif­i­cal­ly sound infor­ma­tion on the envi­ron­men­tal impact of con­struc­tion prod­ucts. They are cru­cial for the holis­tic con­sid­er­a­tion of sus­tain­able build­ings and their cer­ti­fi­ca­tion. By pro­vid­ing spe­cif­ic prod­uct life cycle assess­ments, aspects of sus­tain­abil­i­ty can already be tak­en into account dur­ing the extrac­tion of raw mate­ri­als and the man­u­fac­ture of all com­po­nents. The Insti­tut Bauen und Umwelt e. V. (IBU), the largest Euro­pean asso­ci­a­tion of man­u­fac­tur­ers in the build­ing mate­ri­als indus­try with over 300 mem­bers, has pub­lished over 3,500 envi­ron­men­tal prod­uct dec­la­ra­tions to date — 857 of which were added in 2023 alone. Last year, these EPDs were accessed and down­loaded over 390,000 times on the IBU web­site. The trend is also con­firmed in 2024: in the first quar­ter, the IBU already record­ed 144,453 downloads.

“The huge increase in demand in recent years shows that sus­tain­abil­i­ty is being prac­ticed con­sis­tent­ly in the con­struc­tion sec­tor,” says Flo­ri­an Pronold, Man­ag­ing Direc­tor of the IBU. EPDs are being used more and more fre­quent­ly in ten­ders. Archi­tects and plan­ners use them to cre­ate life cycle assess­ments for build­ings and to quan­ti­fy and opti­mize the eco­log­i­cal foot­print. Build­ing own­ers and investors are also increas­ing­ly eval­u­at­ing prop­er­ties accord­ing to these cri­te­ria, as the sus­tain­abil­i­ty of build­ings now has a gen­er­al­ly rec­og­nized influ­ence on mar­ket value.

As one of the lead­ing pro­gram oper­a­tors for envi­ron­men­tal prod­uct dec­la­ra­tions in the con­struc­tion indus­try, the IBU has laid the foun­da­tions for includ­ing the eco­log­i­cal aspect in the sus­tain­abil­i­ty assess­ment of build­ings. Through prac­ti­cal, sci­en­tif­ic and polit­i­cal com­mit­ment, the IBU has estab­lished an indus­try stan­dard that is rec­og­nized in all sec­tors of the con­struc­tion industry.

All pub­lished EPDs are avail­able free of charge at www.ibu-epd.comcom/pub­lished-epds/.